Just saw that AOL has just released their AOL Explorer browser for download. As a web designer, I’m surprised to see this out, especially since it’s just a Internet Explorer 6.0 shell. With IE7 beta just around the corner (August 3rd, last I heard), this makes the announcement unexciting and disheartening, as both a web surfer and a web designer.

I do have to admit the UI design is very slick (see screenshot), I really like it. The features it has are nice too, it’s just a shame that it is being held back by the inferior IE6 engine. AOL should’ve used the Firefox codebase, and slap on this UI on, and it would’ve been a lot more exciting, not to mention more secure.

Update: If you install the IE7 beta, you’ll find that AOL Explorer will use that, and since the UI on IE7 beta is horrible, it works out to use AOL Explorer as the shell, since its UI is a lot nicer and usable. Never thought I’d actually use an AOL product again, but Firefox is still my main browser, for obvious reasons.