Okay, word on the street is that Internet Explorer 7 has already gained more browser market share since launching in January than Firefox currently has. This means that if you are not designing for IE 7, you should be. IE 6 still has the majority, but according to Microsoft, IE 7 is around 25% and growing. I believe this since I have actually seen statistics backing this up.
So, I am now checking all sites that I build in IE 7. And yes, I am discovering that, while IE 7 is a huge improvement over IE 6, it still has problems rendering CSS. So much so that on my latest project, I had to create 2 IE only stylesheets, one for IE 6 and one for IE 7.
If you are using Firefox, which I hope you are, you may know about the web developer toolbar for Firefox. This is an extension for Firefox that gives you tools to easily debug all kinds of problems with web pages. Today I found a similar tool to help debug IE 7 display problems.
IE 7 copied many of it’s new features from Firefox, including the ability to add third party plug-ins called add-ons. You can find a directory of these add-ons here. The Internet Explorer Developer Toolbar is similar to the web developer toolbar for Firefox. It is not nearly as easy to use or as functional, but it has many of the same functions and can be useful for debugging in IE 7. It is a big improvement over debugging for IE 6.
Incidentally, one thing I noticed is that while this add-on is free, Microsoft charges for many of the add-ons on this site. I saw some as high as $300. While I don’t necessarily agree with that, it could be very lucrative for developers, if you are so inclined. That is if Microsoft is sharing the revenue.
I also see how it could give Microsoft an edge over Firefox. If they are sharing revenue with developers to build extensions and Firefox is not, they could in theory build better extensions and take more market share away from Firefox. Somehow though, I don’t see many people paying for browser extensions, so maybe not.