Tell Me Why I Should Care About IE 7

ie7I’ve been vaguely following the release of the public beta of Internet Explorer 7. There have been some good reviews, some bug reports and a lot of hubbub in general.

In the past, I would have immediately downloaded the program, installed it and used it exclusively. But this time…I am profoundly uninterested. I am convinced that IE has fallen so far behind Firefox (mostly thanks to the multitude of add-ons and extensions) that the race is over. Some reviews cheer the addition of RSS and predict that IE 7 will spell the end of many feed readers. I think not.

For one thing, there are a lot of very good feed readers out there now, and anyone who is already using one is, by virtue of knowing what RSS is and how to read it, reasonably tech savvy and unlikely to abandon whatever reader he or she is currently using in favor of IE 7. Additionally, the killer news reader application will be an online, not offline, reader. The sole reason I use Bloglines is because, while not perfect, it provides synchronization of my feeds, regardless of whether I use my home computer, my office computer or my laptop. If I mark a feed as “read” at home, it’s still “read” when I check later from the office. No need to reread and remark old posts, the way I would have to with an offline reader.

I suggested weeks ago that Microsoft figure out some way to easily synchronize feeds over multiple computers, perhaps via Foldershare. Until that happens, RSS in IE is a nice feature, but it won’t reshape the RSS world.

The other stuff IE 7 adds is nice, but again, Firefox is so far ahead, I think Microsoft is playing for second- at least as far as the technorati goes. Granted, IE will always have a huge user base because it will be the browser of choice for the out of the box computer users. But I just can’t get fired up about it.

Can anyone tell me why I should care about IE 7?