IE6As reported all over the place, Microsoft has reversed its previous plans and will be releasing a new beta of Internet Explorer this summer instead of keeping it locked to the next version of Windows.

About frelling time.

Of course, there’s no word on whether they’ll actually improve page rendering—all the statements so far have focused on security, anti-phishing, and the like—so we web developers will probably have to continue using hacks to work around buggy rendering and missing features that are so much easier to build for Firefox, Opera and Safari. And even if they do fix things in IE7, they’re focusing on Windows XP (we might get it in Windows 2000, if we’re lucky), and there are still people using on Windows 98/Me who will still be stuck with IE6.

Of course, unlike Microsoft, Mozilla hasn’t stopped working on their browsers. By the time IE7 is out, Firefox 1.1 or 1.5 will be available, and they may be well on the road to 2.0.

Congratulations to Mozilla and Firefox for convincing Microsoft to get back to work!

Competition is good.

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