Q. Is IE safe to use again?
A. Short answer: No. Version 7 is safer than 6 was, with many under-the-hood security fixes. But investigators have already discovered a number of security holes, and the browser still ties into Windows in such a way that it acts as a conduit to nasty flaws that continually pop up in the OS. By all means upgrade to version 7 for the improved safety, but don't let your guard down just yet.
Q. I like Firefox just fine. Is there any reason to switch back?
A. Nope. IE 7 is a major step up from its predecessor, but Firefox is safer, has more features, and is far more customizable with add-ons and themes. IE 7 remains a valuable option when you encounter one of those clueless, IE-only Web sites. (Note that IE Tab or IE View will still let you launch IE from within Firefox.)
Q. What does the RSS repository do to my feed reader?
A. Not much for now, as IE and your feed reader keep their data separate. Before long, feed readers will likely be able to read IE's repository directly, at which point you could subscribe to a feed in IE and read it in another program. Microsoft has said that it had this very scenario in mind when it kept IE 7's RSS display basic. A currently available NewsGator download is a step toward this goal of open information exchange: It synchronizes your repository with NewsGator so that you can read all of your IE-subscribed feeds on NewsGator's site.
Q. How will IE 7 in Vista differ from IE 7 in XP?
A. The big difference will be Protected Mode in Vista, a smart security move that will run IE 7 in the new OS with reduced user privileges. If (or more realistically, when) hackers break through IE, they'll have less power to alter your computer than they have in XP. It won't be as easy for them to drop a virus in Windows system folders, for instance. You can get much the same type of setup today for almost any program in XP via a little-known Microsoft download called DropMyRights.