Evidence Firefox is a success: today Bill Gates announced there will be an Internet Explorer 7. The browser, to be tested this summer, will be only for Windows XP SP2. According to the press release, the browser is
designed to add new levels of security to Windows XP SP2 while maintaining the level of extensibility and compatibility that customers have come to expect. Internet Explorer 7.0 will also provide even stronger defenses against phishing, malicious software and spyware.
In other words, expect no major changes to the rendering engine (e.g., CSS2.1-, XHTML-, or PNG-transparency-support). However, there will likely be enough chnages to create CSS problems between it and older versions.
Some CSS hacks and filters — always a tool of last resort — may be rendered useless. If you want to save yourself some headaches, create an IE-only style sheet that works in version 6 and below. Wrap it in conditional comments targetting IE 6 and lower. Do it now.
<!--[if lte IE 6]>
<link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="/styles/iewin.css" media="screen" />
Meanwhile, the other Dean working on IE7 contemplates a name change.
By the way, around 10 per cent of both CTV.ca and CBC.ca’s audience is surfing with Firefox. The Globe and Mail’s numbers should be known soon…