The official release of Intenet Explorer 7 (IE7) is out and ready for download. This is the english version only. Other languages will be coming over the next 2-3 months; with a total of 24 language versions on the TODO list...Now that IE7 has released, it important to remember that MS will distributing the software via Automatic Updates (AU). This was announced back in July by the IE team. According to Microsoft, the distribution is going to happen in several phases.
The first update phase will start very soon and will apply only to users who already have the IE7 release candidates or beta software installed. Over the next few months, the updates will be rolled-out to the broader IE6 community, depending on geography and language.
Not like we don't detest IE6, but it is commendable that MS is not going to force the update. The automatic updates, when they arrive, will prompt you for the install decision, and IE7 will not be installed without your consent.
Most of your settings, toolbars, preferences will be preserved. And anyone who dislikes the new browser enough, may revert back to IE6 by using Add/Remove Programs facilities of Windows.
The big news with IE7, aside from tabs (finally), is its RSS feed support. We won't go into detail here, as Gina over at LifeHacker has already done a great job of it.
More details on the Automatic Update are available on the Microsoft website. You curious people can also find the release notes there.