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Pushing Internet Explorer 7

I don’t like rumors. I don’t like conspiracies. I like facts. And here is one that has me shaking my knees from CNet, “IE7 coming at you (whether you like it or not)” which says:

With its February 12, 2008, Patch Tuesday release, Microsoft has decided, for security reasons, to push out Internet Explorer 7, even to businesses that have previously blocked the automatic upgrade.

According to this Microsoft knowledge base article the software giant will release the Windows Internet Explorer 7 Installation and Availability update to Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) marked as an Update Rollup package. Microsoft says for business customers who have “set WSUS to ‘auto-approve’ Update Rollup packages (this is not the default configuration), Windows Internet Explorer 7 will be automatically approved for installation.” Microsoft introduced the delay feature to give companies a chance to test the browser.

After several years of trying to stop Windows from upgrading unless I say when and how, turning it off and then finding it turned back on again when I didn’t do the turning on, this makes me nervous. I don’t use Internet Explorer and my experiences with those who installed it when it was first released were as the person coming in to uninstall it because it broke their computers. I use it only for testing on computers not owned by myself but others who got it to work but regretted it and switched to Firefox, leaving it to collect dust on their machines.

So what about you? Maybe you have a thing or two to think about this weekend regarding this action.

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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen, the author of Blogging Tips, What Bloggers Won't Tell You About Blogging.


  1. Posted January 26, 2008 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    I should preface this by saying that the only time I use IE is to test a site after coding it but I don’t see why this is such a big deal. IE7 is far more compliant than 6 and unless they eventually force this upgrade on everyone designers/coders are going to have to be working to design for three different major browsers.

    Also, when FF (my preferred browser) rolls out updates, sure you have the option to not get them but good luck getting any of your addons or themes to work if you do that. I think there is a lot to criticize Microsoft about, I’m just not sure this is it. Like you mention in your post they gave companies YEARS to get ready for this.

    Now if they would just stop releasing service packs for XP and start trying to get the tweaks out of Vista that would make me happy. I’m too lazy to revert back to XP but if I keep having this small, pesky issues with Vista I may just, for the first time in my life, jump ship and try out all those shiny new features on the MacBook Pro.

  2. Posted January 26, 2008 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    The only time I use Windows is to check sites, and even then I run it through a virtual machine. I switch to Ubuntu Linux a year ago and will never go back. There are update checks with Ubuntu as well, but I can go and see what the updates are for, what they might do to my system and wait t make sure I need them. I have much more control (and freedom) by using Linux. Take the live CD for a spin and see what you think.

  3. Posted January 26, 2008 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    While I’m not a huge fan of “forced” updates – in my opinion, this one is a long time coming, and quite frankly should have been done earlier. IE 6 isn’t just a total pain to code around, using it can be a giant security risk because of the number of dangerous exploits. The number of computers that I have had to reformat because of IE 6 related problems is too numerous to name. However, because so many businesses (and even a few end users) have refused to take the initiative to upgrade to IE 7, the browser is still in use and web developers must still support it.

    Again, I’m not a huge fan of “forcing” updates on anyone, but the IT department still will not be affected unless they have automatic updates enabled. Plus, to Microsoft’s credit, they have been very upfront about their intention to do this – so hopefully not IT admin will be surprised. Still, I have to say, I think sometimes forcing people to upgrade is the only way to truly stop the usage of an old product. In this case, the old product is both designer-unfriendly and a potential security danger. I’m no huge fan of IE 7 (but hey, I’m a Mac user now – I only use Windows period for testing certain programs or when I have to fix someone else’s computer), but it is certainly better both in terms of standards support and security.

  4. Posted January 26, 2008 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

    A lot of people have been misinterpretating this story. Basically, if you don’t have Windows set to auto-update, then you won’t get IE7 automatically when Microsoft moves it into the update service. At least, that’s what I’ve gotten out of it.

    What concerns me is that one of the first things I did with my laptop when I bought it (with Vista Home Basic included) was disable auto-updating, then manually update. I’ve used Vista about five to eight times in the following year. Every time I load it and every time I shut down, it spends about 5 to 15 minutes “applying updates”… But that has nothing to do with IE7.

  5. Posted January 26, 2008 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

    Sheesh. This is why I don’t like Microsoft: they do a bad job on their products, and then try to force the consequences of them on their users. Apple has made mistakes too, but they (usually) deal with their mistakes in more responsible ways.

  6. Posted January 27, 2008 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    My new laptop came with Vista and IE7. That is why installing Firefox was one of the first things I did 🙂 I had no major issues before, when intalling IE7 on XP, still, I dislike it and prefer Firefox. The next thing I did is getting my boyfriend to help me get Ubuntu installed on a different partition 😀

  7. Posted January 27, 2008 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    This doesn’t sound like a good idea at all – I ONLY load IE for testing purposes, preferring to stick to my trusty Firefox. I’d probably dump Windows altogether if linux got more friendly….. Could that happen this year??????

  8. Posted January 28, 2008 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    Personally I have never had any problems (or heard of any problems) with any version of IE or any Microsoft product in the last 5-7 years. Automatically upgrading is one of the best things Microsoft does. Do you really want a bunch of novice users (and most users of PC’s are novice users) running computers with known security issues?

    As for Firefox/Apple/Ubuntu they are all niche products. The majority of people around the world use Windows and IE. Anyone designing a website or application that has a wide audience should always do it with Windows and IE in mind and test if it works on Firefox/Apple/Ubuntu and not the other way around.

    I also don’t get all the Microsoft bashing. I’m guessing you guys are all Apple users?

  9. Posted January 28, 2008 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    I read this blog regularly, and wanted to assuage some of your fears: what you’re likely heard about the IE7 forced update has (unfortunately) been mixed with a lot of Internet FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt). What is being affected is *not* Windows Update, but WSUS, which IT Admins use in tightly controlled business networks to push out updates on their users. This change will *only* affect admins who have previously installed an IE7 block that prevents IE7 from automatically being installed on corporate networks that use WSUS.

    For a bit more information, check out the following link: IE7 Auto Rollout Fact and Fiction.

  10. Posted January 29, 2008 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    I have moved to Ubuntu for the same reasons. I do not want my computer to do thinks I do not ask for. I am actually very happy to have dumped Widnows on my computer.

  11. Posted January 29, 2008 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    Actually, I’m glad that they are forcing people to upgrade to ie7 – the fewer people using IE6 out there, the less time i have to spend coding for it.

  12. swruler
    Posted January 29, 2008 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    That’s why I got a Mac.

  13. Posted January 31, 2008 at 3:55 am | Permalink

    This is a bliss! eventually we can stop supporting that browser and stop polluting standard code with fixes just for the sake of it!
    I don’t use it, but 76% of my user still do… and I cannot use transparent pngs (or at least need to add some silly fixes), use attribute selector, :hover on every element etc…

  14. Posted February 8, 2008 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    Forget Internet Exploder. Download firefox. Period.

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