Microsoft announced the availability of Internet Explorer 7 Release Candidate 1 (RC1) for Windows XP, available via free download at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/ie/downloads/default.mspx . With this release, Microsoft is strongly encouraging web developers, enthusiasts and IT professionals to finalize their testing and ready their environments for the final availability of IE7.
Microsoft is confident that developers and designers who optimize their web sites and applications with this build will be compatible with the final version when it is released later this year. For an easy path to compatibility, Microsoft encourages technical audiences to download the free Readiness Toolkit.
The RC1 build includes improvements in performance, stability, security, and application compatibility. With this build, Microsoft has also made enhancements to the fit and finish of the user interface, completed CSS platform changes, added language support and included an auto-uninstall feature in Setup, which automatically uninstalls prior betas of IE7 making installing the new build even easier.
IE7 RC1 is available in English today, and all localized versions of RC1 will be available in September including Arabic, Finnish, German, and Japanese as well as the French and Spanish versions which will be available for the first time.
As previously announced, to help our customers become more secure and up-to-date, Microsoft will also distribute Internet Explorer 7 as a high-priority update via Automatic Updates soon after the final version is released for Windows XP later this year.