Microsoft has gone to great lengths to integrate the Internet into every cranny of Windows. Links and buttons that take you online are everywhere: on the Help screens, in the Windows freebie programs, and even in the “Send error report to Microsoft?” dialog boxes that appear after a program crashes. Once you’ve got your Internet connection working (Chapter 8), you may find that it’s easier to go online than it is not to.

Internet Explorer (or IE, as it’s often abbreviated) is the most famous Web browser on earth. The greatly revamped version 7 offers boatloads of new features. A huge number of them are related to security, since most bugs and viruses enter your PC from the Internet: the new phishing filter, pop-up blocker, download blocker, Windows Defender, cookies manager, ActiveX blocking, Protected Mode, parental controls, and so on.

There are lots of great new productivity features, too, though: an RSS reader, tabbed browsing, a new Search bar, a new interface design, and so on. This chapter is all about using Internet Explorer to surf the Web.

(Hey, it could happen.)

IE7: The Grand Tour

You can open Internet Explorer in a number of ways— for example, you can choose its name from the Start menu or click its shortcut on the Quick Launch toolbar.

As you can see in Figure 9-1, the Internet Explorer window is filled with tools that are designed to facilitate a smooth trip around the World Wide Web.

Figure 9-1. The Internet Explorer window offers tools and ...

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