As many of you may already know during his keynote address at the RSA conference, Bill Gates announced that Microsoft will be releasing a new beta version of Internet Explorer 7.0 for XP SP2 this summer. Going off only official news there seems to be some misinformation already circulating. As we understand it there won’t be any version available for the Mac, much less for other platforms other than XP with service pack 2 (“Microsoft Internet Explorer for Windows XP Service Pack 2 customers”). The release is also identified as simply a beta to go along with the Longhorn beta release (“The beta release is scheduled to be available this summer.”). The release has only been identified as a security update, which means the rendering engine could still be identical to that in IE6 (“Internet Explorer 7.0, 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.”). That said, I think it may be Fall before we see any new IE7 (non-beta) and I am not so convinced that it will be a standalone browser at all… much less offer any improved standards support.