In an IEBlog posting, Eric Lawrence introduces the new Internet Explorer 7 user-agent string. Assuming that the browser is running on Longhorn, the string would be: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 7.0b; Windows NT 6.0). Not a big surprise that Microsoft kept with the traditional user-agent string format for Internet Explorer instead of going to a more application-specific (and more appropriate) one. Though some hardcore developers will balk at this, it really is the best way to ensure backwards compatibility with browser-sniffing applications. Could you image the upgrade nightmare that would ensue if the user-agent string was completely new?

Lawrence also noted that the “SV1″ has been removed from the user-agent string in this example because Longhorn will have all of the security features of Windows XP Service Pack 2, making the identification of “Windows NT 6.0″ and “SV1″ redundant. IE7 running on Windows XP Service Pack 2 will most likely still contain “SV1″.

Disclaimer: Any viewpoints and opinions expressed in this article are those of Nicholas C. Zakas and do not, in any way, reflect those of my employer, my colleagues, Wrox Publishing, O'Reilly Publishing, or anyone else. I speak only for myself, not for them.