I've been running IE7 RC1 since it was released, and have had no issues with it. In fact, it was stable enough that I felt confident basing a significant portion of a conference presentation about RSS on it ("RSS: Catch the Wave", presented at Southwest Fox 2006 in Phoenix over the weekend).
Naturally, I was anxious to see and show the final version of IE7, but in a case of ironic timing, the final version was released the day before the conference began. I always follow the rule never to install anything new on a presentation machine within a week of the conference, so I had to force myself to wait and do the presentation based on RC1 as planned, hoping that what I showed in RC1 would be substantially similar to what people would see in the final release version. Looks like it was.
Back from the conference today, I decided to install the IE7 release version on my presentation laptop machine. The release notes/FAQs for IE7 indicate it will automatically uninstall a pre-release version, so I simply downloaded the setup package and fired it off. As expected, it uninstalled IE7 RC1, and then asked for a reboot.
After the restart, the machine began automatically downloading "required updates for IE7". Huh? Didn't I just download the latest installer for IE7? This machine is running a fully patched version of Windows XP Pro SP2, so I'm not sure what updates it needed, but of course I let it continue. Eventually it finished downloading whatever it was (I'll have to investigate that later) and began installing IE7. This was followed by another reboot, after which the machine came up apparently as usual.
Upon first launch, IE7 wants to take you to a URL at go.microsoft.com. This page timed out, which wasn't entirely unexpected given the likely huge number of IE7 updates being done today, although to be fair I suspect I'm having DNS and firewall issues on this machine that are unrelated to IE7. I bookmarked the URL so I can go back later and see what it is. Probably just a welcome screen, but likely with some additional information and links that might be useful. [Update: After the IE7 install is complete, the browser opens a run-once page where you can customize your settings. Closing that page takes you to a welcome page with links for a tour of IE7, a page of add-ons, or your home page.]
The next site I tried is one of the localhost sites on my own machine from yesterday's conference presentation. A bit of a surprise here: IE7 popped up a phishing filter warning and asked if I want to turn it on before visiting this site. RC1 didn't do that. I guess localhost is an unknown site and therefore suspicious as far as the phishing filter is concerned. Hmmm... thanks for protecting me from my own machine, I guess.
I bring up my sample autodiscovery page in IE7. The RSS feed icon lights up as expected, so nothing's changed there. Clicking on the feed icon brings up the feed in IE7, also as expected. This particular sample feed (available online here) is a list of sessions at the Southwest Fox conference. It demonstrates the Simple List Extensions (SLE) extension to RSS, which is implemented in IE7. I find the feed looks and behaves the same in the IE7 release version as it did in RC1, so we're good there, too.
I'm not going to post any "first impressions of IE7" here because I already formed my first impressions based on RC1 a couple of months ago, and they're largely positive. IE7 of course comes with tabbed browsing, which is almost indispensable IMO and a big reason I use Firefox, so it's good to finally have it in Internet Explorer too. At first glance the IE7 release version interface looks just like RC1. If there are any significant visual changes I haven't spotted them yet.
The news here is that IE7 release version installed successfully over IE7 RC1, the interface looks the same as RC1, RSS and SLE work as they did in RC1, and you won't lose your favorites folder in the uninstall/reinstall process.
Tags: IE7, RSS, SLE, Southwest Fox