Although Internet Explorer was only due to be unveiled during the first quarter of 2006, a build of the new browser and several screenshots has leaked online.
The link to the code of the IE7 build (version 5299) was posted on the Windows tech forum JCXP.net on Friday. I managed to get myself a copy of it before it was removed and was sorely tempted to give it a test. Although Microsoft took down the link, techies around the world managed to get their hands on the build, which can be downloaded as an 11MB file in .rar format.
Furthermore the patch which allows the IE7 build to run with cracked copies of Windows had been downloaded over 12 000 times by yesterday morning. So there’s either only 12,000 cracked copies of Windows in the world, or 12,000 people that are interested in running a copy of Internet Explorer 7.
Has anybody else landed a copy of IE7… or is anyone even interested at this point? Given that it doesn’t have the open source backing of the Firefox community, and is likely to consume your CPU usage with 18 dozen instances of IEXPLORE running for every new tab you open up, will IE7 geniuinely be worth the wait? If I was taking an eye to this whole “leak”, which I am, I wouldn’t be surprised if Microsoft leaked the build themselves to see how many people would take it up and talk it up. Makes perfect sense seen as there was the whole “leaked documents” story late last year.