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Microsoft Explorer 7.0 - Avoid!

Even seasoned IT journos like yours truly get caught out.

Last night I saw that the latest beta of Internet Explorer 7.0 was being released (opens in new tab) to the great unwashed, so I decided to give it another whirl, after downloading an early beta in early-January.

What a mess. Basically IE 7.0 isn't happy with anything else that interferes with its access to the TCP/IP stack - add-ins such as the Google Toolbar, VOIPCheap (opens in new tab)and Skype all send it bonkers.

And, just to make life really interesting, I wasn't able to access System Restore via the standard menu route. I had to reboot the PC under Windows XP in safe mode and take it from there.

Even this procedure wasn't simple, as IE 7.0 seems not to like my Logitech (opens in new tab) wireless keyboard. I had to strap on a bog-standard PS2 keyboard to enter safe mode reliably.

The last time I had problems like this was when Windows XP entered its early public beta tests.

I guess I was lucky. It only took a couple of hours to get my system restore-d to its original glory. A lot quicker than an XP re-install.

Bottom line? If you want tabbing and other browser goodies, check out Firefox. Forget IE 7.0 for the time being. It's a real...