Microsoft has realized that browsers like Firefox have taken much of the IE market because of the advanced, new features they offer. Since MIE was not updated since WinXP was introduced, they were falling behind. Instead of waiting for Longhorn to eventually be released, Microsoft has decided to develop a new version of MIE. The sudo-announcement is linked below.
Major News: Internet Explorer 7.0 announced by Bill Gates
First, some basics: we’re committing to deliver a new version of Internet Explorer for Windows XP customers. Betas of IE7 will be available this summer. This new release will build on the work we did in Windows XP SP2 and (among other things) go further to defend users from phishing as well as deceptive or malicious software.
Why? Because we listened to customers, analysts, and business partners. We heard a clear message: “Yes, XP SP2 makes the situation better. We want more, sooner. We want security on top of the compatibility and extensibility IE gives us, and we want it on XP. Microsoft, show us your commitment.”