Microsoft is close to wrapping up work on Internet Explorer 10 (IE10) on Windows 7, according to a report published Friday.
Citing sources enrolled in an invitation-only IE10 test group, Microsoft-watcher and ZDNet blogger Mary Jo Foley said that the Redmond, Wash.-based developer has told those testers that the latest build will be the last before the browser is released to the public.
Officially, IE10 on Windows 7 remains in "Release Preview," a build that debuted Nov. 13, 2012. At the time, Computerworld speculated that a final release would occur before the end of 2012, basing its estimate on the development timetable for IE9. Instead, the browser will apparently launch in 2013.
Today, Microsoft again declined to comment on IE10's shipping schedule.
IE10's public feedback website (requires log-in using a Microsoft account) -- different from the one that Foley cited -- contains a wide variety of bug reports, hinting that Microsoft still has work to do before shipping a final version. Among them, a glitch that disables Windows 7's "Aero" interface graphical elements when IE10 runs.
IE10 will not be released for Windows Vista, the 2007 problem-plagued operating system, nor, with its retirement looming next year, Windows XP. Microsoft was the first, and so far, only, browser maker to drop Vista, just as it was the first -- and again, the only -- developer to abandon Windows XP last year when it shipped IE9.
IE10 is also the browser packaged with Windows 8 and its tablet-centric spinoff Windows RT.
The Release Preview of IE10 for Windows 7 can still be downloaded from Microsoft's website.
Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer, on Google+ or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed . His email address is email@example.com.