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IE7 Separated from Windows Explorer

ScuttleMonkey posted about 8 years ago | from the long-overdue dept.

434

An anonymous reader writes "Security experts warned Microsoft 10 years ago that putting IE as a component of Windows Explorer was a bad idea, looks like Microsoft finally decided to listen to the advice. According to a short write up in Business Week, Microsoft has decided that when IE7 comes out with Vista it will no longer be a component of Windows Explorer and will be able to replace IE6 even on XP machines."

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434 comments

Replace IE6 on XP machines? (4, Insightful)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | about 8 years ago | (#14974480)

Surely they mean outwordly replace IE 6 like Firefox etc do, whilst keeping IE 6 tied into the XP system?

I wonder what would happen if you decided to remove IE 7 after installing it. Or will they "upgrade" it like they do with DirectX and Media Player (ie one way upgrades only, essentially no rolling back).

They are talking about Click to activate ActiveX controls as being a security benefit thats been added for the user - I thought it was because of losing the patent dispute?

ps, the guy talking sounds like Farnsworth, its worth listening just for that!

Re:Replace IE6 on XP machines? (4, Insightful)

Krach42 (227798) | about 8 years ago | (#14974568)

They are talking about Click to activate ActiveX controls as being a security benefit thats been added for the user - I thought it was because of losing the patent dispute?

Companies do this stupid stuff all the time. It's called "Spin".

Banks were marketting the instant scan of checks to customers as a security feature. "See your checks online right away, to be able to spot fraud easier!" In truth? With the instant scans of the checks, "check float" has been removed, and a big issue that banks had with some illegal behavior that most people thought were ok, is gone.

Heck, sometimes it comes to down right lies. I worked for a certain ISP signing people up for service, and if we were having computer problems, like a crash or something, we were told to tell customers that we were "upgrading" our system to provide "better customer service in the future". Which of course is a lie, because the network just sucked and was slow as crap, and the computer would crash and reboot all the time.

I don't believe any "feature" anymore as of Java, which marketed things like "architecture neutral", when I realized, it wasn't "architecture neutral" it was just designed to be an easily emulated architecture.

Re:Replace IE6 on XP machines? (3, Informative)

AKAImBatman (238306) | about 8 years ago | (#14974721)

With the instant scans of the checks, "check float" has been removed, and a big issue that banks had with some illegal behavior that most people thought were ok, is gone.

Check floating is not illegal. It's simply an artifact of the way banks work. You're probably thinking of check kiting [wikipedia.org], which is an illegal scheme that takes advantage of the float periods.

Re:Replace IE6 on XP machines? (1)

zodiaccat (897450) | about 8 years ago | (#14974851)

People more persuasive than I could try to argue that writing a check for money that you don't have (even if you will soon) could constitute fraud. Strictly speaking, you're supposed to have the money in the account when you write the check, which is a promise of money.

Re:Replace IE6 on XP machines? (1)

zodiaccat (897450) | about 8 years ago | (#14974902)

I worked for a certain ISP signing people up for service, and if we were having computer problems, like a crash or something, we were told to tell customers that we were "upgrading" our system to provide "better customer service in the future". Which of course is a lie, because the network just sucked and was slow as crap, and the computer would crash and reboot all the time. Nonsense! "Working" is definitely an upgrade from "not working." But yeah. I'm not sure how they're going to manage to get IE7 to completely replace IE6 on an XP machine without it going into Explorer. Maybe IE6 will just have its named change to "Explorer component 6" or something when you install IE7. So yeah; spin.

Re:Replace IE6 on XP machines? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#14974882)

I don't quite know the ins and outs of it, but I have IE7 installed on this computer (XP) and when I enter a URL into Windows Explorer, it loads my default browser (FFX), and when I enter C:\ into IE7, it loads Windows Explorer.

OMG! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#14974482)

Don't tell me the linux people were right again! :)

Re:OMG! (1)

creimer (824291) | about 8 years ago | (#14974507)

Uh, no. The Mac people were right! :P

REALLY...Then.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#14974629)

Then why is apple switching to intel....? Yeah.. . How right the MAC people are [google.com].....

Re:OMG! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#14974765)

Don't tell me the linux people were right again!

KDE and Gnome, both eager to please to unwashed masses by obediently emulating every error Microsoft has made, both integrate webbrowser-components into their file-browsers.

Of course, now that Microsoft separates them, the imitators will shortly afterwards do the same and proudly claim that they were the first to do so.

KDE is one thing, but for GNOME... (1)

Ayanami Rei (621112) | about 8 years ago | (#14974939)

The web components built into GNOME are only good for rendering simple HTML and XML and do not have any active scripting features/plugins etc. Think of it more as a preview for web documents, like image thumbnailing.

Re:OMG! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#14974783)

Just those Linux people not using KDE.

Is ActiveX gone too? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#14974498)

Pull that out, and MS might have a shot at making a secure browser.

Re:Is ActiveX gone too? (4, Informative)

Hal_Porter (817932) | about 8 years ago | (#14974876)

I think so -

http://www.microsoft.com/windows/ie/ie7/featuretab le.mspx [microsoft.com]

Disables nearly all pre-installed ActiveX controls to prevent potentially vulnerable controls from being exposed to attack. You can easily enable or disable ActiveX controls as needed through the Information Bar and the Add-on Manager.


From here
http://forum.pcstats.com/showthread.php?t=35534 [pcstats.com]

The beta of Internet Explorer 7 is neat to play with but it has one quirky feature where it does not allow users to install unsigned Active X controls. Unfortunately since it's still beta, virtually all Active X addons (like Shockwave, Flash) are unsigned which means they cannot be installed by default. Trying to do so causes IE 7 to spit out an error message.
Not all is lost however, if you load up the Internet Options (Tools -> Internet Options...), click the "Security" tab and in Internet security settings click the Custom Level... utton. In the "ActiveX Controls and plugins" section, find the "Download unsigned ActiveX Controls" option and change it from "Disable" to "Prompt". After that's done click the OK button and you're set!


He he, "one quirky feature". Way to miss the point. Note that you can disable Download Signed ActiveX controls too, or make at least make it prompt you.

There's a best practices document here
http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url= /library/en-us/IETechCol/cols/dnexpie/activex_secu rity.asp?frame=true [microsoft.com]

I think the basic problem is that they still want to avoid breaking websites that rely on ActiveX as much as possible. You can see lots of stuff in that document which means that some ActiveX controls will still automatically on a webpage. If anyone develops and exploit for them and you run it on XP as an admin, you have a problem. Of course, if the user knows what they are doing they can make it secure, but the default setting is more geared to compatibility than security.

Welcome news (5, Interesting)

From A Far Away Land (930780) | about 8 years ago | (#14974503)

I had heard initially that IE7 wasn't going to be available for Windows 2000, and assumed that meant it wasn't going to be for XP either. If it works on XP, what would stop it from running on 2000 other than a Microsoft desire to cripple it so that people have one more reason they must leave 2000 which still works fine for most tasks [as long as it's well patched]?

Re:Welcome news (1)

Josiwe (703514) | about 8 years ago | (#14974635)

If it works on XP, what would stop it from running on 2000 other than a Microsoft desire to cripple it so that people have one more reason they must leave 2000 which still works fine for most tasks [as long as it's well patched]?

From what my sources tell me, the IE7 code has rambling, poorly constructed comments. 2000 prevents such code from running.

Re:Welcome news (5, Informative)

offput (961196) | about 8 years ago | (#14974758)

Windows 2000 is no longer in the windows labelled "mainstream support" so the less they have to deal with it the better for their support teams. On IEBlog [msdn.com], they also cite specifically why it can work for WinXP and not Win2K. It's because of the security upgrades done to XP in service pack 2 which they claim are not easily back-ported into 2K.

Well, don't know.... (2, Informative)

sgant (178166) | about 8 years ago | (#14974817)

But considering that I'm actually using the Beta for IE7 on XP now, it seems to be working.

Or are you talking more that it will be tested on XP and all, but the final version won't be available?

By the way, you can download and run the beta now. It's open. Even has an uninstall on it.

Lied to the EU? (5, Interesting)

Manip (656104) | about 8 years ago | (#14974504)

Didn't Microsoft engineers claim, in court, to the EU that they couldn't remove Internet Explorer from the Operating System without breaking it?

Interesting seeing as Microsoft are now suddenly able to seperate the two (in reference to Windows XP, not Windows Vista).

Re:Lied to the EU? (4, Informative)

mtenhagen (450608) | about 8 years ago | (#14974540)

That did not apply to windows xp but to windows 95 and me.

Maybe it could be done but this is the reason it will only be done for xp. On the other hand, having seen some of microsofts products it doesnt suprise me that a web browser which executes remote code (activex) is part of the os.

Re:Lied to the EU? (5, Informative)

FatRatBastard (7583) | about 8 years ago | (#14974588)

Technically they were correct. Think of it as if BMW rerouted the ignition circiut to make sure it passed through the car stereo. Technically, removing the stereo could render the car useless. Its a stupid design decision unless you're trying to monopolize the market in car stereos.

Re:Lied to the EU? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#14974688)

In other words, it's a great design decision.

Re:Lied to the EU? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#14974864)

If combining a file manager with a web browser was stupid, then why did the Konqueror folks rip off the idea and do exactly the same thing?

Re:Lied to the EU? (2, Insightful)

FatRatBastard (7583) | about 8 years ago | (#14974953)

I'm not arguing that combining the windows browser with the web browser was stupid (I think its actually not a bad idea). I'm it is a stupid design decision to tie it so tightly to the OS (or, as someone else pointed out not stupid at all if you're Microsoft and you're trying to kill Netscape). There is no technical *need* to run the OS's update functionality through the browser, yet Microsoft did it anyway (if I recall correctly that was one of their exhibits on why they couldn't remove IE from Windows without it all breaking).

If you remove Konqueror from KDE does your entire system shitcan itself? I didn't think so.

Re:Lied to the EU? (1)

Y-Crate (540566) | about 8 years ago | (#14974623)

"Didn't Microsoft engineers claim, in court, to the EU that they couldn't remove Internet Explorer from the Operating System without breaking it?"
That doesn't mean much when your OS has been broken from day one.

Re:Lied to the EU? (3, Informative)

qw0ntum (831414) | about 8 years ago | (#14974694)

If you listen to the full podcast (LTFP?), they say that the seperation between the browser and the OS will only come in Vista. In XP versions, IE7 will only add new restrictions to ActiveX controls.

So I guess they were not lying, at least according to BusinessWeek.

Re:Lied to the US DOJ? (0)

beemishboy (781239) | about 8 years ago | (#14974697)

They also lied to the US DOJ with the same reasoning. It's suddenly possible when they *want* it to be.

Re:Lied to the EU? (5, Insightful)

dtfinch (661405) | about 8 years ago | (#14974729)

You can't completely remove IE without breaking things. A lot of third party programs use IE to display html, or use HTML Help (.chm) files. Without IE, Windows would have trouble running many of the programs Wine has trouble with (unless IE is installed).

Re:Lied to the EU? (1)

SuperRob (31516) | about 8 years ago | (#14974759)

I suspect that for Windows XP, there will be no actual separation. IE6 will still be on the machine and used in Explorer, but IE7 will be the actual browser component.

Re:Lied to the EU? (1)

Shimbo (100005) | about 8 years ago | (#14974760)

Didn't Microsoft engineers claim, in court, to the EU that they couldn't remove Internet Explorer from the Operating System without breaking it?

Nope, that was the US case. The EU case is primarily about bundling Windows Media Player.

Sad (5, Funny)

Eightyford (893696) | about 8 years ago | (#14974514)

Another divorce. Why can't Americans just stay together for the kids?

Re:Sad (1)

springbox (853816) | about 8 years ago | (#14974810)

Because staying together would actually be worse for the kids. Since the relationship between the parents is already bad, this would create a hostile environment in the home. It's funny how this also applies to Internet Explorer. It would actually be better for the user if IE "divorced" the rest of the operating system.

Re:Sad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#14974961)

Actually, IE was just shacking up with windows explorer. Though they went through great pains to make it look like a legitimate marriage to the in-laws (justice dept).

On XP (2, Interesting)

Moby Cock (771358) | about 8 years ago | (#14974517)

This is great news! However, will IE7 on a Win XP box simply be an add-on (a la Firefox) while maintaining the status quo for Windows Explorer and IE being linked?

Re:On XP (1)

gunnk (463227) | about 8 years ago | (#14974942)

Yeah, I think this is exactly the case.

That said, if installing IE7 also keeps Windows Explorer from accessing the web, it is still a big step for security on XP.

Okay, but... (4, Interesting)

babbling (952366) | about 8 years ago | (#14974525)

Will Windows Explorer still be able to function as a web browser once IE7 has been installed separately on XP?

I imagine a lot of users are quite used to typing webaddress.com into Windows Explorer, now. I suppose that should respond by launching the user's default browser with the command line argument webaddress.com, but is that what it will do, or will WinExplore still function as a browser?

Re:Okay, but... (1)

Moby Cock (771358) | about 8 years ago | (#14974574)

I fear that IE6 will still be 'under-the-hood' and that IE7 will be unto itself on an XP box. As for a Vista box, perhaps they are banking on people developing new habits for a new platform (unless it does spawn a new browser, but that would confuse some people).

Re:Okay, but... (2, Informative)

wrfelts (950027) | about 8 years ago | (#14974698)

Will Windows Explorer still be able to function as a web browser once IE7 has been installed separately on XP?

it's a VERY simple programming trick.

if (web-type url typed into location bar) {
CallRegisteredBrowserEngine(typedURL,windowSize,Wi ndowPosition);
}

As long as the registered default browser has the same interface calls published in the registry, it should work fine, and would allow for alternative browsers to cleanly interact with the OS.

On the other hand, this is Microsoft we're talking about. It will probably be more like:

if (web-type url typed into location bar) {
CallMostCurrentMSBrowserEngine(typedURL,windowSize ,WindowPosition);
}

Re:Okay, but... (2, Interesting)

doofusclam (528746) | about 8 years ago | (#14974980)

>>it's a VERY simple programming trick.

No it isn't. Most of the problem is that ActiveX and other MS native components on a webpage aren't supported in other browsers, and for good reason.

Windows Update for example always calls IE and uses ActiveX. Changing the default browser is going to break WU.

Re:Okay, but... (1)

PFI_Optix (936301) | about 8 years ago | (#14974792)

I would expect MS to simply change the behavior of Windows Explorer to launch IE (or whatever other browser you set as default) when you type a web address in a WE bar. It wouldn't be that difficult.

Re:Okay, but... (1)

digitaldc (879047) | about 8 years ago | (#14974803)

No, I think you will get this popup error message:
"Windows cannot find '(null)'. Make sure you typed the name correctly, and then try again. To search for a file, click the Start button, and then click Search.

[ OK ]

Re:Okay, but... (1)

freakmn (712872) | about 8 years ago | (#14974832)

I think that a bigger question is the reverse. If typing c: into an IE window does not bring up the c: drive, then it breaks compatibility. This usually isn't too big a deal, but I did have one time that some spyware caused explorer to crash every time that it tried to register itself as the shell. Before reinstalling windows on his PC (Company policy) he wanted to get his data off the computer. The easiest way to do that was to run iexplore, and then put in c: to get to the c: drive, and start another for the network drive. Without that information, his data could not be easily retrieved. I know that I could have also run cmd, but he wanted to do it in a familiar interface.

On the other hand, if it simply opens up explorer, then what is the point of seperating the two? The security risks would still be there, so it would be pointless to seperate them.

Finally, what about the "in-between" areas. For instance, a network drive. It could be thought of as a network share, and therefore brought up in internet explorer. A mapped drive would almost certainly be in Windows Explorer. Would the network share be in IE until you mapped it, where it would then be in explorer? Or would it all be under Explorer? What about if it is referenced by ip address, like \\127.0.0.1\c$? Though it is quite possible to seperate the two technologically, the mental link in the user's mind is still there. I think this could be messy.

Re:Okay, but... (1)

TheDormouse (614641) | about 8 years ago | (#14974954)

Currently, if Firefox is your default browser, you type a URL into the Explorer bar and it opens in Firefox. I assume the same behavior will work for IE7.

Finally! (4, Insightful)

noamsml (868075) | about 8 years ago | (#14974543)

Next thing you'll know, maybe they'll realize that running executables out of the browser is a bad idea, and that an arbitrary execution flaw on CD insertion is NOT a feature.

Why not just buy a mac-mini? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#14974544)

And you could run Safari and forget about IE7.

Re:Why not just buy a mac-mini? (1)

PFI_Optix (936301) | about 8 years ago | (#14974826)

Cheapest Mini I see is $600 without a monitor.

You can buy/build a much more powerful PC for $600, install a Linux distro of your choice, and run Firefox.

for that matter, why not just install Firefox?

Re:Why not just buy a mac-mini? (1)

Nevenmrgan (826707) | about 8 years ago | (#14974941)

Well, not that you were really asking, but because it'll be loaded with awesome software out of the box, require little or no setup, and do pretty much everything most people need a computer to do. Plus, you'll get some absolutely unparalleled OS features. Oh and yeah, it really does look nicer.

Article Text (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#14974553)

Wow, for once slashdot has a more insightful writeup than the actual article.
I actually feel stupider for reading the same article twice (once on slashdot, once on businessweek)

- A

WOW! (1)

wrfelts (950027) | about 8 years ago | (#14974556)

Is Microsoft actually going to add some stability to Windows? The whole ie==explorer thing has been a security and stability plague since it was introduced.

That explains it.. (0)

creepynut (933825) | about 8 years ago | (#14974558)

Perhaps this would explain why when I type a URL in Windows Explorer it launches my default browser (Firefox) rather than opening the page in IE in the same window...

Re:That explains it.. (0, Troll)

frankm_slashdot (614772) | about 8 years ago | (#14974922)

HAHAHA.. NO. that doesnt explain it. but i can. because that same thing FUCKED ME hard when i tried uninstalling firefox from my work machine....

in any event, firefox sets itself as the default browser in a very unfriendly way... hah. if you dont believe me you can even play along at home. try uninstalling firefox - IE wont work right anymore. ok, now that youve tried that reinstall firefox.... i think it stems from using the old deer park alphas and then upgrading to firefox 1 without uninstalling first.. my mistake...

but whats odd though is this - nothing i could do in IE would reset IE to be default browswer.. even trying to do the file reassociations by hand failed for me. in the end, the only thing that restored IE for me was through installing the IE7 beta. funny but im kinda getting used to ie7... its not as bad as i figured it would be.

Re:That explains it.. (1)

JebusIsLord (566856) | about 8 years ago | (#14974933)

I'm running the IE7 beta, and yeah... if you type in a URL in Windows Explorer, it now launches a separate IE7 window (instead of just opening the URL inline).

I actually prefer the old behaviour, but whatever.

Great! Now to get Konqueror! (5, Interesting)

Kelson (129150) | about 8 years ago | (#14974564)

I'm sure I'm about to burn karma with this... but in KDE, Konqueror acts as both web browser and file manager. At least it's entirely userspace, but does anyone know how closely the file managing and web browsing aspects of Konqueror are tied?

Re:Great! Now to get Konqueror! (3, Informative)

Doctor Crumb (737936) | about 8 years ago | (#14974669)

You are correct in noting that Konq is entirely userspace, which is why they can make it browse whatever they want it to. If you don't like it, you can use Nautilus or firefox or midnight commander or any number of other things. This is only a big deal for IE/Explorer because it is tied to the OS, and because it is really your only choice for many things.

As for how tightly tied konqueror is to itself, that's pretty much moot. Much of Konqueror's capabilities are provided by kioslaves, which are another layer entirely, and could theoretically be used by other apps. *Shrug*

Re:Great! Now to get Konqueror! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#14974945)

This is what's funny about slashbots. IE resides entirely in userspace. In fact it's just a collection of ActiveX controls that are embedded in a number of areas. The IE container for web browsing, the explorer container for filesystem browsing, the help container for browsing help files, etc. There is no real problem with using IE with the desktop shell, that isn't a problem with every other reuse of IE. The problem isn't the way IE is used, it's that it's a buggy piece of shit.

Re:Great! Now to get Konqueror! (1, Insightful)

KingJoshi (615691) | about 8 years ago | (#14974672)

Why would anyone want to separate them? Konqueror is my favorite file manager for that reason. I can have one tab with my web folder, another tab using ftp or sftp, another tab viewing the page on localhost, and another checking the page through the internet. That's how it should be. When I open a file in Kate, I want to be able to open a file remotely or locally. Should be no difference.

The problem with MS's version was that the whole freaking system crashed if IE crashed. And holes in IE left system critical holes in the kernel. Don't throw the baby out with the bath water.

Re:Great! Now to get Konqueror! (1)

Taevin (850923) | about 8 years ago | (#14974677)

This was my thought too. However, I seem to recall that Konqueror is little more than a frontend for KIO slaves. Could be wrong though, so I guess we need some one knowledgeable to respond or head to the repository [kde.org]. :)

Re:Great! Now to get Konqueror! (2, Informative)

GweeDo (127172) | about 8 years ago | (#14974823)

Actually if I recall correctly Konquerer isn't either of those. In fact, it is just a holder for Kparts. In turn, there happens to a be a Kpart for file management and one for HTML rendering (KHTML in this case). So...konquerer can also be a music player (there is a Kpart for that), an RSS reader (again...another Kpart)...

So, konquerer really can be anything you want. So this isn't the best example.

Konqueror is neither (1, Redundant)

brunes69 (86786) | about 8 years ago | (#14974833)

Konqueror is not a file manager or a web browser, in the strictest sense. Konqueror is just a container that runs KParts. That's all. There is a file management KPart, and a Web Browsing KPart, which is what most people use by far. But really konqueror is just a shell that loads whatever you want it to. The KHTML KPart is no more 'integrated' into KDE or the OS than the PDF KPart is, or the MPlayer KPart.

Re:Great! Now to get Konqueror! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#14974847)

Firefox will do the same thing in XP

Re:Great! Now to get Konqueror! (1)

cmacb (547347) | about 8 years ago | (#14974920)

This was the first thing I thought of too. When I use KDE I still prefer Firefox as a browser, yet, telling KDE this, it seems to reluctantly give up control of URLs because they seem to have their own URL syntax for things. I typically delete parts of KDE I don't want to mysteriously get launched, but Konqueror (as a file browser) is not one of the things I want to do without.

IE7 is on the Rebound (5, Funny)

digitaldc (879047) | about 8 years ago | (#14974576)

Did you hear IE7 Separated from Windows Explorer?

Yes, I also heard she is now dating some new guy Winslow Vista.

Re:IE7 is on the Rebound (1)

PFI_Optix (936301) | about 8 years ago | (#14974859)

Yeah, I heard he got all into Scientology and had to divorce her when she called it a cult.

Good news (5, Interesting)

TheSkepticalOptimist (898384) | about 8 years ago | (#14974596)

IE was integrated because the same kind of display used to show files and directories could be used to display web content, and it made sense to integrate the same technology in order to save on system resources.

Today, with people having more horsepower in their computer then they know what to do with, same goes for hard drive space, having a tightly integrated web browser / file browser doesn't make sense, and it has been a source of Microsoft's security problems.

Yes, you will still be able to type a web address in the file explorer in Vista and have a web page display . While explorer and internet explorer are no longer integrated, Vista will transparently switch between the applications and maintain the same window view.

I am sure that I.E. components will still be launched at system startup, to give Microsoft and edge over 3rd party browsers for quick browser launching, but by removing the integration with the file explorer, this will definitely be a welcomed change that should offer better security in the long run, which Microsoft desperitely needs.

Re:Good news (2, Insightful)

blamanj (253811) | about 8 years ago | (#14974827)

IE was integrated to get by monopoly restrictions.

It's possible to share code without making an application part of the operating system. They're called DLLs.

Re:Good news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#14974931)

A plus 5 interesting Troll? Come on moderators.

IE was integrated because the same kind of display used to show files and directories could be used to display web content, and it made sense to integrate the same technology in order to save on system resources.

This was done with Windows 98, not 95. We had alot more resources then. Your statement fails. IE was put in there to kill Netscape after Mark made the comment about "Navigator and Java" killing Windows. Go read the trial transcripts sometimes.

By your logic, Progman.exe in Win 3.x should have came with a dialup terminal because browsing a text file and an ASCII BBS is no different.

Back in the Day (1, Insightful)

under_score (65824) | about 8 years ago | (#14974600)

I thought that integrating IE with Explorer was a great idea. I talked about it with other techie friends. We all agreed that it would be a "cool thing". Truth be told, it still is a cool thing. I'd love Mozilla to be my official interface to my hard drive as well as the web. Unfortunately, security in such a situation really is tough. In our networked world, there is too much malicious and flawed software/content out there. And so we go backwards feature-wise in order to secure ourselves. Unfortunately this is happening in a lot of places, not just in technology. I'm taking this way beyond the original context, but "The well-being of mankind, its peace and security, are unattainable unless and until its unity is firmly established." We can't truly be secure anywhere until we can trust others. And we can't trust others until we have justice. And we can't have justice until we all recognize at a deep level that all human beings are equal. This recognition of the unity of humanity must acknowledge our diversity. Living in harmony is a goal, not a means. The means is the recognition of the unity of humanity.

Re:Back in the Day (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 8 years ago | (#14974845)

It isn't really the tieing together of IE with Explorer that causes the security problems. As another poster mentioned, Konquerer can be used as both a file manager and a web browser. What causes problems is that IE is able to start executable(activeX) without user intervention, and the fact that IE is integrated so tightly with the Operating system.

Someone has to say it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#14974903)

Dude, you're a fucking idiot.

So this explains the delay? (4, Interesting)

Billly Gates (198444) | about 8 years ago | (#14974605)

Microsoft mentioned it was due to security designs in Vista.

I doubt though that something so integrated into windows explorer can be seperated and reprogrammed into a seperate application within the extra 2 months.

Its alot of work not to mention may break many applications. For example cdroms that use autoplay sometimes display html and javascript in the windows explorer menu in a seperate pane. I suppose you could reprogram windows explorer to just call an IE7.dll to display it.

But Microsoft was found guilty of merging IE into a million libraries so third party apps would not function without IE and infact required it. Even a command prompt program that uses strings requires IE as a result.

Thank god I am not on the windows development team.

What about Konqueror? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#14974608)

Does this mean kioslaves should be gotten rid of? Or is GNU open source software just so superior in all respects that the comparison is irrelevant.

So in other words... (3, Insightful)

moochfish (822730) | about 8 years ago | (#14974637)

So in other words, now that they've won the browser wars at the expense of OS security, they'll unbundle it now.

Summary is misleading (1)

Shimmer (3036) | about 8 years ago | (#14974676)

and will be able to replace IE6 even on XP machines

You've always been able to upgrade IE on its own. Heck, I remember installing IE4 over IE3 on NT ten years ago. This is hardly a new feature for IE7.

Re:Summary is misleading (1)

Broiler (804077) | about 8 years ago | (#14974773)

You've always been able to upgrade IE on its own. Heck, I remember installing IE4 over IE3 on NT ten years ago. This is hardly a new feature for IE7.

You are correct. This is posted from IE7 on Windows XP.

Well, obviously (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#14974681)

The only reason they did this in the first place was to circumvent an antitrust case. Now the antitrust case is over, so they no longer need the web browser in the OS. End of story

Re:Well, obviously (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#14974867)

Thanks. I was starting to worry that I was the only one old enough to remember that.

Didn't we... (1)

Anusien (705743) | about 8 years ago | (#14974779)

already hear about this? This is old news. Microsoft is a little Dutch boy sticking his finger in a flood.

I'm Sure That (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | about 8 years ago | (#14974801)

I'm sure that this isn't the only security warning Microsoft received -- and ignored -- at the time. Will this convince them that they don't know everything while the rest of the world knows nothing yet?

I could swear I remember (1)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | about 8 years ago | (#14974862)

Didn't MS say something to the effect that IE was so tightly bundled into Windows that it would be impossible to remove?

Uninstall (3, Funny)

Locarius (798304) | about 8 years ago | (#14974875)

Microsoft has decided that when IE7 comes out with Vista it will no longer be a component of Windows Explorer

Yes! I can finally completely uninstall it from my system!

Actually, I'll just stick to my Mac.

Hilarity! (1)

scoser (780371) | about 8 years ago | (#14974888)

Now what are the odds that this security-increasing effort manages to introduce some more fairly blatant security holes?

FTP Evidence (4, Interesting)

beavt8r (919284) | about 8 years ago | (#14974891)

I installed IE7 (let me explain) and the FTP functionality in it is just like directory listings like Firefox has. I use IE for ftp just so I have the ease of a Windows Explorer-like interface for FTP. So I can't do that with IE7. But, if I open windows explorer or any folder, I can put an FTP address in that address bar and it works just like IE6 with the explorer interface. Unintentionally, I found out when I installed that it kept it separate. Interesting...

What about windowsupdates (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#14974896)

So does that mean that it will be possible to run windowsupdate from within Firefox (or from any other non-native browser)?

You can run WInXP explorer without IE right now (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#14974906)

This is not new. Windows Explorer in Windows XP works just fine if you remove IE and IECore. Just go get www.nliteos.com and customize your windows installation to not even install IE or IECore to begin with and you will see Explorer works just fine without it.

Bout Friggin Time (3, Insightful)

Foofoobar (318279) | about 8 years ago | (#14974912)

Gee, how long did it take them to figure out what people knew from the beginning? Security and IT professionals have flogged this as a major security risk from day 1.

All I can say is that now that they have done this, I'm beginning to believe that they want to build a decent and secure product for their customers.

it already has (3, Informative)

minus_273 (174041) | about 8 years ago | (#14974914)

I downloaed the IE7 beta 2 for XP yesterday and you can see that explorer is no longer tied at all to the web browser. Going to slashdot.org in an explorer window starts the default browser now.

Good for web devs? (1)

ruiner13 (527499) | about 8 years ago | (#14974974)

In theory, if it is decoupled, you could run multiple versions of IE on the same machine to test compatibility. This will save QA departments from having to use virtual machines or seperate machines to test each version of IE. Granted, if IE stuck to standards, you wouldn't have to test in every browser known to man, but at least this is a compromise.

Impossible! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#14974975)

And we have the court documents to prove it!
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