On May 7th 2003, Microsoft announced that Internet Explorer 6.0 would be the last stand-alone version of the long-lived browser. The IE project lead at the time (Brian Countryman) promised that Internet Explorer would be incrementally updated as Microsoft pumped out new versions of Windows. However, the success of the Mozilla Foundation's Firefox forced a serious re-think. For the first time in many years, a non-Microsoft browser was gaining serious market share directly at the expense of IE.
At the 2005 RSA Conference in San Francisco, Microsoft boss Bill Gates announced that Microsoft had reopened development on Internet Explorer, and that developers should ready themselves for a summer beta.
Neowin takes a look at just what we can expect from this surprise browser refresh by reviewing Internet Explorer 7 Beta 1.