Ok, this is I guess is old news, but it's news to me. Apparently Microsoft has changed their stance on releasing another version of Internet Explorer for their current OS line.
Originally, Microsoft had taken a stance that IE 7 would be a "Longhorn" (now officially named Windows Vista) product only and that v6 was going to be the last release for all current versions of the Microsoft OS. It's now looking like that stance has changed.
Building on those advancements, Gates announced Internet Explorer 7.0, designed to add new levels of security to Windows XP SP2 while maintaining the level of extensibility and compatibility that customers have come to expect. Internet Explorer 7.0 will also provide even stronger defenses against phishing, malicious software and spyware. The beta release is scheduled to be available this summer.
That news clip is actually from February of this year, but I don't recall reading anything about it. I'm sure the success of Mozilla has a lot to do with Microsoft's change of heart. They're losing market share by the barrel, so I'm sure they're hoping they can sway some interest back to IE with a new release.