The current incarnation of Internet Explorer has attracted its fair share of criticism over the years, most notably for the security problems associated with the browser. Microsoft has now promised that the next version, Internet Explorer 7, will tackle many of the criticisms levelled at the current version, especially in the area of security.

The final version of IE7 is due out in the second half of this year, and the software is currently in its second beta version. IE7 pinches some features from other browsers, such as Firefox and Opera, including tabbed browsing. There are some other cosmetic changes as well, such as menus being hidden by default, but the real work has been in securing the new browser. Microsoft promises that it will be architecturally sounder, and will have features such as the colour of the address bar changing to indicate the safety of a site, green for safe sites, red for known phishing sites and yellow for suspected ones.

There will be versions of Internet Explorer 7 for Windows XP as well as Windows Vista.