Some days ago, Microsoft has announced, that the new IE7 is going to be “injected” via updates into the Windows XP Service Pack 2 systems.
I think that it is a very good and important move from microsoft. No doubt, that the most part of webdesigners are welcoming a new Internet Explorer with all the changes that it is going to bring (CSS, xHTML etc). The seventh version is going naturally and with the time replace the buggy IE6 and i believe that as soon as it is going to happend, as better for all of us. There are some pages over the net (mostly technical) which are allready showing between 0.5% and 1.1% percentage of their traffic belonging to the seventh version of the Internet Explorer, so even with the last beta3 version it is allready on the market, starting taking away the percentage from the sixth version. This all means that there is no point of ignoring it and we better start adapting our sites to the latest microsoft product.
No, i dont think that the IE6 is going to disappear in the next couple of years completely (No upgrade for anything bellow WinXP SP2 – that includes WinXP SP1, Win2000 etc), but i would say that if microsoft is going to deliver a Windows Vista in the beginning of the next year, then in about a year we are going to deal with a respectable percentage of the IE7 browsers.
It makes me happy to think that the progress is finally coming to the mainstream part of the Windows platform. =O)