Internet Explorer 7 has been released to the public for several weeks now. Unfortunately, there are numerous complaints from IE 7 users that their favorite webpages are not loading correctly. Why? The answer is disturbing. It seems with all the time put in to updating IE6 to IE 7, Microsoft created a new version which is less compliant with web standards than the one before it. Yet another example of Microsoft ineptness.
Read what some critics had to say about the matter.
"Windows experts and web developers are unhappy with Microsoft. Yes, again. Since Internet Explorer 7 was announced, Microsoft has promised that supporting current web standards was high on its list. It turns out, though, that by at least one report, IE7 will only support 54% of the CSS 2.1 standard, as compared to 52% in IE6 and 93% in Firefox 1.5 and 96% in Opera 9." -- written by Jordan Running, Downloadsquad.com
"Microsoft blames backward-compatibility problems for the stalemate over true Web standards compatibility. Put succinctly, the company has gone its own way for so long and now has to support so many developers who use nonstandard Web technologies that it will be impossible to make IE Web-standards-compliant without breaking half the commercial Web sites on the planet. Furthermore, by halting all IE development for several years before reconstituting the IE team to create IE 7.0, Microsoft has set back Web development by an immeasurable amount of time." -- written by Paul Thurott, WindowsITPro.com
Now, how to fix the problem. Microsoft has developed a workaround for problems with webpages not loading properly in IE 7. The workaround is to change the user agent string for IE 7; instead of identifying itself as IE 7, IE 7 will identify itself as IE 6 to webpages. Microsoft has developed a small free utility to change the user agent string; the download link is (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=70356). This will correct the problem for many webpages; however, it doesn't work for all of them. I have seen the same workaround in the Opera web browser, which includes a feature to identify itself as either Opera 9.x or Internet Explorer.
For information on the workaround and solutions for other common problems with IE 7, go to Microsoft's IE Support page (http://www.microsoft.com/uk/windows/ie/support/default.mspx). Below, you will find the excerpt, pertaining to IE 7's user agent, from the support page.
"Question: My favorite websites don't load correctly, or don't seem to work at all in Internet Explorer 7. What should I do?
Answer: If you encounter a site which does not recognize Internet Explorer 7, a new tool known as the User Agent String Utility has been created to help you work around the problem. The utility comes in the form of a small executable that opens an Internet Explorer 7 instance that emulates Internet Explorer 6 by sending the Internet Explorer 6 user agent string. It also provides a mechanism for you to report problem web sites to Microsoft so that we can follow up with the affected site owners. Download the tool here."
If you continue to experience problems then you should seriously consider uninstalling IE 7 and restoring IE 6. The support page also has instructions on how to do so.