IE7 Lauch Party at The Thirsty Bear

Tantek in RedTantek in Red Hosted on Zooomr

Last night Kristopher Tate and I joined a group of mostly press and bloggers as Microsoft officially launched IE7 at the Thirsty Bear here in San Francisco. IE7 General Manager Dean Hachamovitch gave a brief talk reminding us that last night was meant to be a no pressure get together for the IE7 Team to talk with some of us. Waggoner Edstrom coordinated the event. Thanks again for the darts by the way Kelsey!

It was a pretty fun night all the way around. Jeremiah Owyang and Martin McKeay interviewed Kristopher Tate and I for their podcast, the Podcast Roundtable.

I had a good time talking with Steve Gillmor about his early days at Cal Arts. He has a great story about how in the first year there Roy Disney came by (Walt Disney founded the art school when he died) and a bunch of art students were lounging around naked. I don’t think it was quite the vision that Walt may have had when he set up the school from his will.

I talked to Pete LePage from Microsoft quite a bit during the evening. Pete is recently new to Microsoft and the IE7 team. We mostly talked about photography. Pete shoots real film instead of digital and kind of covers the extremes on the film side. He’s got both a Holga and a Hasselblad. We talked about using RSS to stream your photos from photo sharing sites to your own web property so that you could get the best of both worlds, the community side of photo sharing and the customization side of building your own web site to display your photos.

Pete said he’d like to figure out a way to sell fine art prints from a social networking photo sharing site. We are working on that at Zooomr Pete. Stay tuned. You can check out Pete’s photos here.

I’d love to see some of your great photos in our light box mode on Zooomr Pete. If you hover over any thumbnail on Zooomr you have an option to click on the little polaroid icon in the lower left corner. It really is a stunning way to look at photographs.

Kelsey Palaniuk, Dan Farber and Sarah WilliamsKelsey Palaniuk, Dan Farber and Sarah Williams Hosted on Zooomr

I also talked cameras with Chris Wilson (NOT Chris Wilson the drummer for Good Charlotte, rather the lead program manager for the web platform in IE). Chris is on his fourth digital SLR and shoots with a 20D. Like me he had one camera stolen (and even worse, the backpack that he kept it in which included his laptop with about 2 months worth of photos).

Dan Farber was there from CNET and will probably have a post up on his blog on the evening as well. We talked with Pete about some of the basics behind how Microsoft looks at their internet browser. According to Pete, Microsoft would rather ship less frequent but largely upgrades when they do because so much of the enterprise world doesn’t like to have to upgrade all the time.

Of course the big news we were all there for was the formal release of IE7. I tried IE7 back a while ago in beta and after I got a few bugs gave up on it. I downloaded it again this morning and will try it out just to see what’s new in it but I think it will be a longshot that I’d use it. My current browser of choice is Flock. I like the fact that I gain additional functionality with Grease Monkey scripts from Flock and I like some of the built in Flickr functionality that it has.

But the vast majority of the world does not even know what Flock is and would be puzzeled by the phrase “Grease Monkey” and even Flickr. I think the most important thing about IE7 is that it is bringing tabbed browsing to a large part of the world that previously have not had tabbed browsing. Obviously IE7 is much more than just tabbed browsing, but I think that this is the most significant thing that everyday people will end up getting out of it. Yes, yes, maybe security stuff too, but it’s the utility of the tab browsing that I find more interesting.

For a great run down on what people are saying about IE7, the best place to probably go is TechMeme. It was great seeing you there last night as well Gabe, even if I do probably harass you too much with my camera!

You can click through here to see all of my photos from last night’s launch. Oh and by the way, if you are in any of my photos please leave me a comment on the photo on Zooomr so that I can peopletag you.

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