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Internet Explorer Drops WGA Requirement

CowboyNeal posted more than 6 years ago | from the while-the-getting-is-good dept.

Internet Explorer 220

Kelson writes "The Internet Explorer team has updated the installer for IE7. Mostly they've adjusted a few defaults and updated their tutorials, but one change stands out: The installer no longer requires Windows Genuine Advantage validation. Almost a year after its release, IE7 has yet to overtake its predecessor. Was WGA holding back a tide of potential upgrades, or did it just send people over to alternative browsers?"

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A cup of wine (2, Interesting)

nublaii (713590) | more than 6 years ago | (#20865639)

Lets see how long does wine take to install ie7 now ;)

With ies4linux? A couple minutes (5, Informative)

Nicolas MONNET (4727) | more than 6 years ago | (#20865749)

IES4Linux [tatanka.com.br] installs IE on wine in a matter of minutes, no WGA required ... :)

In fact, I ran WGA a few months ago under wine, it validated my non-existent Windows license :)

Re:With ies4linux? A couple minutes (3, Funny)

Echolima (1130147) | more than 6 years ago | (#20865931)

Now none of us are gonna be able to get windows updates for our WINE!

sheeesh

PS: IE4Linux is pretty awesome, that was the selling point to get the wife on Linux.

Re:With ies4linux? A couple minutes (4, Funny)

skoaldipper (752281) | more than 6 years ago | (#20866021)

IE on linux? But isn't that like duct taping kite string to a wii controller and running it to your xbox?

Re:With ies4linux? A couple minutes (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20866053)

Almost like that....except it has to be an Xbox360, the Xbox wouldnt pick it up - thats the only way I got it to work. Some College websites require IE and only IE....IE4Linux saves the hassle of windows.

Re:With ies4linux? A couple minutes (3, Interesting)

mdm-adph (1030332) | more than 6 years ago | (#20866361)

Almost like that....except it has to be an Xbox360, the Xbox wouldnt pick it up - thats the only way I got it to work. Some College websites require IE and only IE....IE4Linux saves the hassle of windows.
I can relate with you there, but wouldn't a simple plugin like User Agent Switcher [mozilla.org] for Firefox work for you? It could fool a website into thinking that you're running IE, and I'm pretty sure that's all you'd need, because as far as I know, getting ActiveX to work under linux, even with IE4Linux, is a pain in the ass, and there's no guarantee that it'll work every time.

Re:With ies4linux? A couple minutes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20866045)

It's working as it should do then. It looks for pirated copies of Windows rather than genuine ones. Because it couldn't identify yours as a non-genuine version of Windows, it let it pass.

Re:A cup of wine (1)

Esion Modnar (632431) | more than 6 years ago | (#20865997)

(I'm replying to this because I can't find how to reply to the main article under Slashdot's new interface. Where da buttons?!?)

Anyhow, I noticed today that as I was doing all the latest Windows updates on a new system I'm building, IE7 is no longer listed as a critical update. At least I could not find it. I wonder what else I can't find today.

Re:A cup of wine (3, Informative)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 6 years ago | (#20866377)

(I'm replying to this because I can't find how to reply to the main article under Slashdot's new interface. Where da buttons?!?)

Look at the floating panel on the side ("xx Comments"). At the bottom right side is the reply link. Also, the "more" link loads up new comments without doing a page refresh.

Not likely (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20865655)

The way I see it, most people that would need to 'avoid' WGA would likely already be using another browser. And the other half of the demographic that hasn't 'up'graded to IE7 likely has automatic updates shut off and won't be turning it on anytime soon.


Not that it was great, but WGA wasn't necessarily all that BAD, either, provided you just have a legit software copy. But that's the point, the point is just that noone cares about IE7 really.

Re:Not likely (4, Insightful)

NekoXP (67564) | more than 6 years ago | (#20865721)

Well, I think this is a push to increase security; it's harder to get any of those crappy ActiveX exploits through IE7 because of it's insane "please confirm installing a plugin 3 times" methodology. With WGA enabled you have all your legitimate Windows users using IE7 (or at least having it installed, remember IE7's browser components are used throughout XP - help files, embedded in other apps..) but everyone pirating it still uses the previous versions with no security updates installed.

You could easily claim (and be right) that disallowing the vast majority of pirated Windows copies the latest security updates contributes to the spread of viruses, trojans and generally misappropriation of networks.

After all, until Firefox implements some kind of MSHTML.DLL replacement scheme (would this be so difficult, really?), it is not possible to completely remove Internet Explorer from a standard Windows system (WinXP Lite etc. notwithstanding) and have it still function the same way.

Someone should port the Wine MSHTML.DLL back to Windows.. and have it use Gecko, in order that we completely reduce the requirement of Windows on the obvious things. I think it'd have to be modified to use ActiveX controls though, there was a project for this once, I really can't work out why they abandoned it though (ActiveX security policies may be easily broken etc. but it would have the happy benefit of enabling everyone with IE-requiring internet banking etc. to use those sites, too!)

I basically think if the guys at Firefox were really serious about putting themselves as a true alternative to IE, they would focus a little more on truly replacing IE rather than just being installed side-by-side.

Re:Not likely (1)

speaker of the truth (1112181) | more than 6 years ago | (#20865769)

but everyone pirating it still uses the previous versions with no security updates installed.
Microsoft should not support and help pirates. If people want to pirate, and then spew forth lots of spam, they should be prosecuted for pirating and whatever laws there are that make distributing viruses and spam illegal.

Re:Not likely (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20865821)

but it's too expensive and i'm just a kid living in a developing country... ;(

-anonymous

Re:Not likely (4, Insightful)

ajs318 (655362) | more than 6 years ago | (#20865907)

That is no excuse. You can load up a computer with all the software you're likely to need [ubuntulinux.com] without ever paying a single penny for it, and without going against the wishes of the copyright holders.

As an aside, using serious alternatives to Microsoft products will most certainly annoy Microsoft far more than using pirated copies of Microsoft products ever could.

Re:Not likely (1)

NekoXP (67564) | more than 6 years ago | (#20866015)

You could also say that Microsoft should not support virus authors and DDoS-happy blackhats and so on by giving them 80% of the world's computers to easily crack. It's not always easy to find the guy who is hammering your servers or your corporation with spam, packet floods or spreading credit card information from your customers or whatever. Maybe you can find out what systems he used, but his address, to prosecute him? That could take forever.. or be never.

It's a lot more responsible to stop him from doing it so easily than to just say "our systems are insecure as shipped, if you did not buy them then you are free to contribute to the problem, and if someone cracks our insecure software on your pirate systems, why don't YOU go find them and shop them in to the police?"

Re:Not likely (1)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 6 years ago | (#20866311)

Criminal prosecution and civil liability are largely orthogonal. Even if someone managed to track down and prosecute spammers and virus writers (yeah, as if), Microsoft would still be liable for writing and distributing shoddy merchandise that's trivially used as an attack vector. Their EULA won't protect them from attack victims who aren't Microsoft customers. The potential damages from a DOS attack on a major business or industry could be huge, even by Microsoft standards. With this in mind, it's in Microsoft's interest to make sure that their least shoddy products are in widespread use.

Mozilla ActiveX control (2, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#20866001)

After all, until Firefox implements some kind of MSHTML.DLL replacement scheme (would this be so difficult, really?)
It's so not difficult that it's been done [www.iol.ie] , though I don't know how old this is.

Re:Not likely (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#20866085)

After all, until Firefox implements some kind of MSHTML.DLL replacement scheme (would this be so difficult, really?), it is not possible to completely remove Internet Explorer from a standard Windows system (WinXP Lite etc. notwithstanding) and have it still function the same way....

Someone should port the Wine MSHTML.DLL back to Windows.. and have it use Gecko,
Actually, mshtml.dll.so identifies itself as "Wine Gecko", and there are references to Mozilla functions (such as 'NS_InitXPCOM2' already, so I'm sure that it already uses Mozilla libraries and code. IOW, most of this work is already done. All that would be needed is to port this to Windows.

What has happened to /.??? (5, Informative)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 6 years ago | (#20866113)

Speaking of IE.

Like many...I'm stuck using IE6 at work. Something must have changed overnight with Slashdot...maybe some weird new CSS?

Whatever it is...it is really messing up. It is hard to read any article....many comments don't appear to even have a reply button on them.

That..and I'm afraid it looks like /. has implemented a automatic PAGE REFRESH mode? I hope not..I like to keep a browser open on /. all day...but, if it starts auto-refreshing, that can look like too much surfing at work.

A the top of pages I see it autochecks an option to "Try new Slashdot discussion system". I try unchecking it each time to no-avail. I checked my preferences...and it is also set to NOT use the new system, but, it appears the new system is still being fed to me.

Please fix this...it was bad enough that the firehose page has recently been made unusable by IE6...now the normal pages are really screwing up.

I used FF, Safari, and the native KDE browsers at home...and they seem to work fine, but, I've got NO choice at work. Please make /. work like it did before. Simple HTML and CSS are just great....we don't need an ajax Slashdot..it is the content and the people that make the site.....not the fanciness of the site. Especially with all that added 'zing' messes up on a majorly used (unfortunately) browser.

Re:What has happened to /.??? (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 6 years ago | (#20866437)

I will sound horribly outdated,old fashioned but did you try cleaning your cache? Browsers cache mechanisms really lost it after the recent "speed race" and they tend to cache anything which doesn't say "do not cache me". In case of IE, it would simply ignore it, it is the IE you know...

Re:Not likely (1)

AVee (557523) | more than 6 years ago | (#20866135)

After all, until Firefox implements some kind of MSHTML.DLL replacement scheme (would this be so difficult, really?), it is not possible to completely remove Internet Explorer from a standard Windows system (WinXP Lite etc. notwithstanding) and have it still function the same way. Someone should port the Wine MSHTML.DLL back to Windows.. and have it use Gecko, in order that we completely reduce the requirement of Windows on the obvious things.


Shouldn't MS be the one fixing the problems in MS software? I can see why there aren't many people volunteering to solve what is not their problem in the first place.

Re:Not likely (2, Informative)

quaketripp (621850) | more than 6 years ago | (#20866141)

I basically think if the guys at Firefox were really serious about putting themselves as a true alternative to IE, they would focus a little more on truly replacing IE rather than just being installed side-by-side.

I'm not sure what you even mean by that? The only reason I can't run Firefox alone on a box is because some sites will only code to support IE. How is that Firefox's fault? Does that not show that Microsoft just has an unfar advantage on the market? I mean, I can't even use NetFlix' View NOW! feature through Firefox because you absolutely must use IE for whatever reason, I could go research that part, but coffee drive hasn't kicked in...I digress. The point is Firefox w/ NoScrips and ABP (sssshhhh, don't tell) by far safer than using any Microsoft product to surf the virus/spam/trojan/malicious-script laden interwebs. Boo IE. Yay beer-- er.. Firefox!

Re:Not likely (1)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 6 years ago | (#20866197)

With WGA enabled you have all your legitimate Windows users using IE7 (or at least having it installed, remember IE7's browser components are used throughout XP - help files, embedded in other apps..) but everyone pirating it still uses the previous versions with no security updates installed.

Not necessarily. My home machine is 100% legal and always has been, but I have declined to install IE7 for the simple reason that I maintain a web site and more of my visitors run IE6, so that's my default testing ground. Someone mentioned this thing about standards and problems with not following them, but I can't remember what it was...

(I use other browsers for my personal browsing, and just fire up IE for testing things. Since I haven't yet found a way to have both IE6 and IE7 installed on the same machine, and I have only one machine available, IE7 loses out for the reason above.)

wga was broken anyways (1)

Psychofreak (17440) | more than 6 years ago | (#20866431)

I updated IE on my wifes computer (M$ xp), as she needs it for work, before the service pack that included ie7 in it was released, wga broke and no updates could be installed till I followed this voodoo ritual of purging I found on the Microsoft support site. This removed IE7 so I could install updates and the new service pack which included IE7. I'd call it bass ackwards but that would be an insult to all bass and bass fisherman out there.
Removing wga probably improves stability overall, I just tried checking the version of IE on this machine and it crashed IE!

Phil

Re:Not likely (1)

The-Ixian (168184) | more than 6 years ago | (#20865779)

You know people won't "upgrade" until they are forced to.
 
People simply fear change. If it is different than what they are used to then they will resist it and say that the new way is somehow worse than the old.
 
Personally, I don't care which flavor of browser people use, however, I would have to say that I trust IE7 more than >=IE6.

Alternatives... (1, Interesting)

rvw (755107) | more than 6 years ago | (#20865659)

Was WGA holding back a tide of potential upgrades, or did it just send people over to alternative browsers?
Not only alternative browsers, but also alternative systems. OS X and Ubuntu are gaining grounds. And Vista is a serious reason to consider those alternatives!

Re:Alternatives... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20865699)

I used to work in a tech support callcentre, and even normal home users had the impression that IE6 was insecure and spyware prone. (I even had a pensioner tell me this over the phone)

I think they then switched over to an alternative browser and grew fond of the other features (tabbed browsing etc), so stuck with the new browser.
Those that hate any change just stick with IE6.

Internet Explorer as a whole now has a reputation for being buggy and insecure, and I think this is stopping most people from using it rather than WGA (I reckon most people have legitimiate, OEM/pre-installed versions of Windows anyhow)

Re:Alternatives... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20865731)

The simplest answer is usually the correct answer.

Q: Was WGA holding back a tide of potential upgrades, or did it just send people over to alternative browsers?
A: It just sent people over to a better alternative browser.

Re:Alternatives... (2, Interesting)

Loosifur (954968) | more than 6 years ago | (#20866191)

Amen to that. I just dumped Vista to dual boot Ubuntu and XP. I have a feeling that enough people are getting bitten by WGA to make even Microsoft notice. I also have a feeling that they're getting a little worried about the reception Vista has gotten.

Re:Alternatives... (an xp users tale) (1)

sjwest (948274) | more than 6 years ago | (#20866235)

I have a friend called Lloyd who has an xp box bought pre wga times with the pc.

To my knowledge he apparently has got ABSOLUTELY no updates from Microsoft since wga was turned on by them as he does not has the wga things. So what does this have to do with ie ?

Does Lloyd care about wga no, has he noticed the lack of care from Microsoft who think that he is a pirate because he has not bothered to wga his xp box ? No.

So why should he bother about ie 7. For the record i dont do wga (or use windows) and i will not install it and the machine in question has a copy of firefox on it.

Hopefully somebody will hack his unpatched before wga box and then i can lead him a cd of linux (no im not recommending vista). The Moral (from slashdot perspective) i think is that if your treat your customers as thieves then why should he bother with ie7.

Re:Alternatives... (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 6 years ago | (#20866393)

Was WGA holding back a tide of potential upgrades, or did it just send people over to alternative browsers?
Not only alternative browsers, but also alternative systems. OS X and Ubuntu are gaining grounds. And Vista is a serious reason to consider those alternatives!
Funny is, some people and of course MS thinks people who refuses WGA must be pirates. No, some people aren't comfortable sending encyripted (God knows what included) data to a company they don't trust.

I know many people who basically stays away from WGA because of their serious concerns about their privacy. Same people also chooses Opera and flames Firefox for their future plans with "anti phishing with Google".

Trust is a thing to gain. E.g. Apple puts "Send system profile to Apple" to their "System Profiler" and when I buy a weird device which works with my Quad G5, I use that option for future support guarantee, stats, whatever.

Imagine MS puts the same option to their own system profiler (near exact copy). They seem to know nobody would click that menu item and some may even sue them if they accidentally click so they don't even bother.

I could stand to my machines 7 fans full speed for 5 minutes while trying Ubuntu, it asked me politely about sending my hardware profile to Ubuntu guys, I clicked "yes" without question too.

MS knows nobody trusts them so they prefer to trick users sending their profile information with schemes like "Windows update", "new hardware wizard" and now Windows Genunine Advantage junk. Other guys simply, politely "ask" or in case of Apple, put a complete opt-in menu item.

Market share beats anti-piracy (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20865661)

It's finally clear where Microsoft's priorities lie. You can pirate until they have a dominant place in the market.

Re:Market share beats anti-piracy (2, Insightful)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 6 years ago | (#20865739)

IE already have a dominant place, but yeah.

Re:Market share beats anti-piracy (1)

ajs318 (655362) | more than 6 years ago | (#20866109)

But IE binaries are given away free, so you can't really "pirate" it -- unless you are installing it on some non-Windows system by means of API emulation (e.g. WINE) which probably is not permitted by the licence.

Re:Market share beats anti-piracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20866133)

IE7 does not, and that's the problem. They've plateaued. The people that wanted to upgrade who could did, those who wanted to use other browsers are, and they're left with a bunch of apathetic users stuck on IE6 and a few (crazy?) pirates that want to run IE7 but can't. By allowing the last group, they may be able to increase IE7's market share a few notches.

Re:Market share beats anti-piracy (1)

e.colli (630500) | more than 6 years ago | (#20865831)

In a few months this will be a mandatory update. I think that is a strategic move too: 1) the embedded search engine is the live.com, they will try to get market share from google. 2) it's a way to familiarize people with new vista/office 2007 interface and reduce the resistance to change.

Re:Market share beats anti-piracy (1)

shird (566377) | more than 6 years ago | (#20865945)

Wouldnt that mean IE7 should have had no WGA requirement, then the WGA requirement added.. rather than the other way around?

Re:Market share beats anti-piracy (1)

SargentDU (1161355) | more than 6 years ago | (#20866035)

Well, MS screwed up and is trying to get the lost brouser market share back. Then they will do the WGA again.

Re:Market share beats anti-piracy (1)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 6 years ago | (#20866005)

Pfft. Firefox has the same business model.

Re:Market share beats anti-piracy (2, Insightful)

ajs318 (655362) | more than 6 years ago | (#20866357)

Except that with Firefox, you get the Source Code. Unless you speak fluent Pentium assembly language, there's a world of difference.

Re:Market share beats anti-piracy (1)

jkrise (535370) | more than 6 years ago | (#20866057)

It's finally clear where Microsoft's priorities lie. You can pirate until they have a dominant place in the market....

I agree with this market share thing, but I think it's about the operating system, not the browser that Microsoft is worried about... let me explain.

People who get fed up of Windows try Linux... but most office apps still need some Windows componenets. MS Office existing licenses account for lots of installations. So it's not that simple to move the entire OS - but the browser is easily the biggest used application on the desktop today, not MS OFfice (or Outlook). So people moving away from IE to Firefox or Opera (like I did 7 years ago) is a big minus for Microsoft; because these people will demand that in-house web apps run on Firefox as well.

Now, Opera on Linux is as good as (in many cases better) on Windows, and Firefox likewise... so once people get de-addicted from desktop apps, it's an easy jump to move to Linux on the desktop completely. THIS IS DANGEROUS for the monopoly. IE can be locked into the Windows subsystem, but not Firefox or Opera... so the monopoly crashes faster.

Server products like Exchange, SharePoint, DotProject etc. have been made to look and work better on IE compared to Firefox / Opera but that will not deter users who've got accustomed to ease of use, more security and simplicity. With IE7 on non-genuine XP as well, I think MS is trying to sneak in more vulnerabilities to maybe promote Vista / IE7 as ther preferred desktop kit. Very long way to go before that happens, IMO.

Well with the WGA (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20865669)

you really do get a big advantage, think about all the time you won't waste searching for porn because your computer won't work from a virus you got because of IE

The real reason uptake is slow... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20865685)

In my company at least, many of the systems use HTTP. IE7 was tested, and none of these systems worked well enough on it. The same thing with the company I worked for before. It just isn't reliable enough.

Re:The real reason uptake is slow... (1)

Chatterton (228704) | more than 6 years ago | (#20865741)

In my company, all the web based application that doesn't work well in IE7 and firefox were application developed with IEism and activeX components... Some have some minor displays bugs but vastly due to some IEism corrected in IE7 in the interpretation of the CSS :/

Re:The real reason uptake is slow... (4, Interesting)

MrNemesis (587188) | more than 6 years ago | (#20865809)

Same problem at my work. Loads of shitty web-based corporate apps rely on IE6-isms that won't work in IE7, resulting in the entire enterprise being forced to use IE6 (plus severe update lags due to inefficient and ineffective testing of patches). As such, we've had a couple of breaches via 0-day exploits targetting unpatched IE6 installs.

Yay for the Intranet Microsoft Built.

Oddity: IT staff don't eat their own dog food, and everyone uses FF whilst telling the users they can't have it because intranet apps "don't work with firefox". However, bring IE into the equation and the same staff will tell you "the app is shit and won't work with IE". Odd how such a pro-MS shop changes the burden of proof depending on whether the target is asociated with Linux or not

Re:The real reason uptake is slow... (1)

RMH101 (636144) | more than 6 years ago | (#20865901)

Oddity: IT staff don't eat their own dog food, and everyone uses FF whilst telling the users they can't have it because intranet apps "don't work with firefox".

As an IT guy in a big organisation, via the marvels of SMS2003 I've been shown to have Firefox on my machine. I've been asked to remove it on grounds of security...sigh.

(There is *kind* of a point to this in that we're ultralocked down for most stuff - can't change proxy in IE etc, and FF isn't centrally managed the way our standard software is. In this case it's just a particularly amusing example..)

Re:IT guys installing their own software (1)

Baron_Yam (643147) | more than 6 years ago | (#20866061)

Err... rebuild your machine and install TrustNoExe, then block the SMS client from running along with your domain logon scripts, etc.

Really useful little utility, and a good way to stop users from running unauthorized crap on their machines. The ability to block logon scripts and SMS snooping is just a nice little bonus.

Re:The real reason uptake is slow... (1)

AVee (557523) | more than 6 years ago | (#20866313)

As an IT guy in a big organisation, via the marvels of SMS2003 I've been shown to have Firefox on my machine. I've been asked to remove it on grounds of security...sigh.


Your boss calls you an IT guy, but doesn't trust you with a computer? Does he also send you to customers? "Hey, I won't trust him with one of my PC's but you can hire this briliant IT guy for $500/h".

Re:The real reason uptake is slow... (1)

kc2keo (694222) | more than 6 years ago | (#20866171)

I worked for a social services company's IT department. They are a pro-MS shop also. They are only allowing users to run IE6 because the state apps required by employees rely on IE6. Will not work in IE7.

Re:The real reason uptake is slow... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20866059)

In my company at least, many of the systems use HTTP. IE7 was tested, and none of these systems worked well enough on it. The same thing with the company I worked for before. It just isn't reliable enough.

You're a genius of comedy. When you die, you gotta donate your brain to a museum so we can all marvel at the complexity and intricate beauty of the mechanism that led to this joke above.

Does it... (0, Troll)

TechnoBunny (991156) | more than 6 years ago | (#20865705)

...run on Linux?

you fa+il it (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20865707)

No, *you* fail it (0, Offtopic)

ajs318 (655362) | more than 6 years ago | (#20865939)

Why are we still getting these spam posts that go to the error page where a picture that some might consider to be offensive used to be hosted?

I could understand spam posts going to a shock picture, but not an error message.

give them a few months to make it silently upgrade (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20865723)

I'd put money on it, that sometime in 2008 IE7
will become a forced upgrade path by Microsoft.
Perhaps folded into the next service pack?

Good thing my Windows machines are still running win2k.

Re:give them a few months to make it silently upgr (2, Insightful)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 6 years ago | (#20865751)

Good thing my "windows" machines don't run windows. :-)

yeah I know it's cliche to post about running another OS, but honestly, what's the motivation to run windows anymore?

I recently swapped gentoo for ubuntu on my laptop, and out of the box ubuntu booted up to Gnome, had a bunch of useful software installed, was easy to add more OSS to it, it detected my wireless card, and even found my access point right away, sound works, etc. If I take an XP SP2 CD and put it in my laptop, it will fail to find my wireless AND sound. Yet, a free ubuntu CD does that and more. I just don't get what would motivate me to run Windows. This isn't a fanboy issue, it's just pragmatism. Windows is shit by comparison.

As for the issue of IE7, to be honest I'd rather run IE4 than either IE6 or IE7. Loads a hell of a lot quicker, and the interface is a bit more sane. Even without tabbed browsing it's still better than 7.

Tom

Re:give them a few months to make it silently upgr (1)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 6 years ago | (#20865865)

yeah I know it's cliche to post about running another OS, but honestly, what's the motivation to run windows anymore?

If you can't figure it out after this being the topic of discussion every single day on Slashdot, at least accept people have different needs from each other and stop asking the same question like a broken record.

Re:give them a few months to make it silently upgr (3, Insightful)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 6 years ago | (#20865925)

Sometimes it's worth repeating because it's a valid rhetorical question.

You can edit documents, run spreadsheets (even multiply correctly!), design software/hardware, compose music, etc, just as easily in an OSS OS as Windows. And if people stopped worshipping Redmond they'd actually realize that *they* have the power to choose, not the producers.

Why isn't photoshop ported to GNU/Linux? Because customers aren't demanding it enough. Watch people hold up updating CS, demand Linux ports, and you'll probably see it happen. But if you just blindly do what they tell you, you get less options. And in certain cases the alternatives are better. I'd rather use OO.o than MS Office. I'd rather use firefox than IE7. I'd rather use pidgin than the MSN client, I'd rather use lilypond than Finale, I'd rather use mplayer than WMP, I'd rather use a lot of things than their "traditional proprietary" counterparts.

I'd suspect for 99% of computer users out there (home users included) they could get by just as well or better with a good Linux distro than Vista. Certainly my experience with Ubuntu has been such that if you can't figure out how to use/install it, you probably won't get much out of owning a computer anyways. It's just so damn simple to use, not to mention free, and gives access to an entire library of OSS software.

Tom

Re:give them a few months to make it silently upgr (1)

bettega (1120845) | more than 6 years ago | (#20866303)

And if people stopped worshipping Redmond they'd actually realize that *they* have the power to choose, not the producers.

More important than the power to choose is (sadly) the power to "not change". People won't change until forced to. See the Firefox case, why it's gaining ground? Microsoft almost forced people change from IE

"Power to Choose" less important than "Power To Not Change" (in general, for most peopleo)

The products not-Microsft must be much better to "force a change" and much more vendors must sell computers with a (very working and cheaper then a Windows option) Linux distro.

Re:give them a few months to make it silently upgr (1)

jalefkowit (101585) | more than 6 years ago | (#20865887)

honestly, what's the motivation to run windows anymore?
  • It came installed on your new PC and you're too lazy to install something else
  • Your boss makes you
  • You like to play games

Seriously, that's the complete list these days as far as I can tell. Not good news for Microsoft.

Force. (1)

Zombie Ryushu (803103) | more than 6 years ago | (#20865919)

You have to realize that in Microsoft's landscape, Windows Users are not entitled to "choose" anything. Making the choice to use Linux is insanely difficult. You grow accustomed and comfortable after a while but its still really hard. There is no free market in computers. Proliferation of IIS and ActiveX will force people to IE.

Re:Force. (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 6 years ago | (#20865955)

I choose to use OSS for the myriad of benefits. It has the downside that I can't play many of the popular games. OH BIG WHOOP. I have consoles for games if I really want to play something.

People aren't forced to do anything they don't want to. You don't have to take that job at $BIGCORP where they use all the wrong software/tools/etc. You don't have to buy a PC with Vista installed, you don't have to keep it installed if you did anyways. People run Windows because they're too lazy and ignorant to sort out any choices for them, especially if the choice is for their own good in the long run anyways.

I find the "grandma" comments kinda funny though. What is your retired grandmother doing that she can't browse the web and read about computers if she's so inclined to buy one [or a new one]?

Re:give them a few months to make it silently upgr (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 6 years ago | (#20866037)

yeah I know it's cliche to post about running another OS, but honestly, what's the motivation to run windows anymore?
You know what else is a cliche? Pointing out that windows is the "safe" option in terms of hardware compatibility and support, as well as the only decent gaming platform for PC. It also has some good software that only comes on windows, and doesn't yet have any decent linux-based competition.

Re:give them a few months to make it silently upgr (1)

ajs318 (655362) | more than 6 years ago | (#20866047)

Why would you switch away from Gentoo? I'm not trolling, I'm genuinely curious. As a long term Debian user {formerly a Mandrake user}, I tried a brief fling with Gentoo a year or so back. It did everything Debian did, but it didn't really seem to do it any better than Debian. The biggest difference seemed to be that "apt-get install foo" was replaced by "emerge foo". I put up with it till the HDD in the box died the death, then went back to Debian for its replacement.

Had I discovered Gentoo before Debian, I'm quite sure that's what I would have eventually stuck with; I had reached the limitations of Mandrake {as it was then known} and needed a more powerful system with a bigger package repository. There's little to choose between Gentoo and Debian, IMHO. And Ubuntu is really just Debian, but pre-configured a certain way.

Good. (0)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 6 years ago | (#20865825)

Yea, I'd hate to be forced to give up IE 6...

Geeks will install whatever they want to, browser-wise. I usually have several, and I switch back and forth depending on my mood/needs.

But for the vast majority of people, who use whatever browser happens to be in the task bar? Force 'em to IE 7! I don't know why they didn't do it in the first place.

Most people... (5, Insightful)

MrNemesis (587188) | more than 6 years ago | (#20865727)

...wouldn't have known it was there. The WGA requirement means that you actively have to log into Windows Update and say "yes, I want IE7" or actively locate an IE7 installer. Your average computer user won't even know which version of IE they're using, much less will have any idea there's a new version out and why they should bother installing it.

If IE7 doesn't have the WGA thing, then presumably it's going to be automatically installed with the rest of the updates whihc most users have set to automatic (since that's how the computer came configured).

So yes, expect the installed base to increase significantly, and I imagine a reasonably increase in usage as well - alot of people will find it better than any other browser they're using (stupid, uncustomisable button layout notwithstanding).

Re:Most people... (1)

jkrise (535370) | more than 6 years ago | (#20866179)

If IE7 doesn't have the WGA thing, then presumably it's going to be automatically installed with the rest of the updates whihc most users have set to automatic (since that's how the computer came configured).

Well spotted! After the sneaky update on XP and Vista, it looks like IE7 will be the next sneaky update on 'pirated' XP as well. I get a feeling most antivirus and spyware kits have got the hang of IE6 by now; but IE7 is very messy, confusing and downright irritating. I simply gave up after an hour.

I now use Opera, in rare cases when some sites do not work, I go with Firefox on my office PC that is forced to run XP. Even mails on the Exchange server look better on IE, but the lvel of support in Opera and FF is manageable, so I haven't clicked the Blue E in months.

Re:Most people... (1)

MrNemesis (587188) | more than 6 years ago | (#20866429)

Heh, I'm another Opera user who switches to FF when he has to.

Whilst I agree that IE7's interface is irritating, it's a shitload better than the fustercluck of sploits (albeit with a more "standard" interface) that's IE6. That said, I'm 95% Linux at home these days so IE is rarely even an option for me.

I'm just hope I can get promoted to project/acquisition management in the near future so I can veto company apps that require certain flavours of IE to work properly.

Re:Most people... (1)

MMC Monster (602931) | more than 6 years ago | (#20866401)

I'm running a valid WindowsXP license at work. I am still using IE6 because our IT department requires an activeX component to run a citrix component to log in remotely to another office.

(Of course, I use Firefox for everything else at work)

integrate/slipstream (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20865733)

As far as I can see, it still does not support the /integrate: switch to slipstream it into your own install/rescue CDs, leaving only such crutches as nLite to silently install it over the already present IE6, and thereby wasting valuable space on the CD.

Gone! The only genuine advantage!!! (0, Flamebait)

jkrise (535370) | more than 6 years ago | (#20865747)

of a pirated Windows XP was that it never downloaded and force-installed the crappy IE7. After the sneaky updates, it seems it is the turn of IE7 now to get in on all XP systems. Whatever for?

If IE7 provides more security, then it should be available only for genuine editions. Why incentivise piracy? Now, the Firefox exploits that work only when IE7 is installed will start working on pirated editions of XP.... even though the user may be using FIrefox only. Way to go, I say!

Re:Gone! The only genuine advantage!!! (1)

pebs (654334) | more than 6 years ago | (#20865981)

I use Firefox when I'm on a Windows machine, but I would much rather have IE7 installed than any of the previous versions of IE. I mean, you're forced to have some version of IE installed, and all versions before 7 are actually much worse than 7.

Great but... (0, Troll)

Wowsers (1151731) | more than 6 years ago | (#20865755)

How about rolling out the dropping of the Windows Genuine Dis-advantage to IE6? I hate IE7, and don't want it on my system. The only time I ever use the awful IE browser is because all other browsers point-blank refuse to work with the Windows Update website / properly.

no, it's the other way around (1)

someone1234 (830754) | more than 6 years ago | (#20865879)

M$'s website point-blank refuses to work with any other browser.

Re:no, it's the other way around (1)

jonwil (467024) | more than 6 years ago | (#20866241)

With the exception of Windows Update, I have yet to see any part of the Microsoft owned websites fail to run in SeaMonkey. Thanks to genuinecheck.exe from MS, I can even download all the WGA protected stuff without the need to install the WGA ActiveX crap and use IE.

Re:Great but... (1)

1001011010110101 (305349) | more than 6 years ago | (#20865913)

Actually, its not that other browsers refuse to work with it, its that Microsoft uses ActiveX to run Windows Update, and nobody wants to use that in alternative browsers (ActiveX is one of the problems with MSIE security model).

Btw, if you REALLY REALLY want to use an alternative browser to run Windows update, you can always use IETAB and run an instance of MSIE inside a tab in Firefox.

Re:Great but... (1)

shird (566377) | more than 6 years ago | (#20866003)

But then thats not really using an alternative browser.. its just hosting the IE browser in a different window. You may as well just use IE.

Re:Great but... (1)

1001011010110101 (305349) | more than 6 years ago | (#20866065)

Touche. Nothing except MSIE is EVER going to be able to run ActiveX. (Thank God)

Re:Great but... (1)

jonwil (467024) | more than 6 years ago | (#20866291)

Actually, there IS a plugin that lets you host an ActiveX control inside Mozilla/Firefox/Gecko. It was written (AFAIK) specifically to host the Windows Media Player ActiveX so that Gecko browsers on windows could play Windows Media content. However, with WMP11, there is now a proper gecko-friendly plugin available I believe.

ALTERNATE (0)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 6 years ago | (#20865761)

Alternate browsers! Not alternative browsers. That said, I'm sure many people use their browsers to view "alternative" material, but WGA might have pushed people to try ALTERNATE browsers.

[/nitpick]

Re:ALTERNATE (1)

LarsG (31008) | more than 6 years ago | (#20865861)

Every alternate day I choose alternative browsers.

Did I get that right?

Re:ALTERNATE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20865885)

but firefox has the whole grunge thing going on and opera is the indie kid standing in the corner crying!

Re:ALTERNATE (1)

aquarajustin (1070708) | more than 6 years ago | (#20865891)

alternative |ôltrntiv|
adjective [ attrib. ]
(of one or more things) available as another possibility : the various alternative methods for resolving disputes | "Microsoft Internet Explorer is teh sux. Luckily, there are various alternative web browsers available."

"available as another possibility" ...

[/dumbass]

Re:ALTERNATE (3, Interesting)

Foerstner (931398) | more than 6 years ago | (#20865895)

Um...no, that's "alternative." If you're going to be a word-usage Nazi, get it right first.

Unless you're trying to suggest that they're switching back and forth repeatedly.

Re:ALTERNATE (1)

thechanklybore (1091971) | more than 6 years ago | (#20866245)

You are wrong - To use something in an alternate manner is to switch between that and another "alternative". In this case the word is alternative NOT alternate.

nah (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20865789)

IE7 was completely buggy and still is bit buggy. It had a bad rep from the start because of it. That is what kills a product a bad rep.

Geoff "Mandrake" Harrison for President

Re:nah (1)

ThirdPrize (938147) | more than 6 years ago | (#20866083)

Even though i am pro M$ (despite having a mac at home) i still find ie7 annoyingly glitchy and counterintuitive. You can't reorder feeds (and sometimes your favourites) in the side bar by drag'n'drop. Sometimes RSS entries need several clicks to launch the relevant article. And don't get me started on the whole menu/toolbar thing.

IE7 and firefox (1)

farkus888 (1103903) | more than 6 years ago | (#20865909)

I know its slightly off topic, but I still don't have IE7 installed on my only windows computer and won't until I hear from a reliable source that the bug mentioned here http://it.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/07/26/1719236 [slashdot.org] has been fixed. I use firefox and am not even going to consider upgrading software I don't use to a more secure version if it introduces a security hole in software I do use.

and menu bar enabled by default (finally!) (4, Informative)

MojoStan (776183) | more than 6 years ago | (#20865967)

I think the re-enabled (by default) menu bar is just as important as the dropped WGA requirement. For novice/intermediate Windows users, IE7's hidden menu bar (revealed by pressing "Alt") was needlessly confusing. Every time I've checked a friend's IE7 setup (on both XP and Vista), I've asked if they wanted the menu bar back. Not surprisingly, the answer has been "YES" every time.

I'm guessing Microsoft wanted IE7 (and some of their other apps) to follow Office 2007's lead and get rid of the menu bar. This made sense for Office because the new contextual ribbon interface negates the need for a menu bar. It was hard to believe at first, but Office 2007 really does work better without the menu bar.

However, removing the menu bar from IE7 made no sense IMO. IE7 didn't implement a ribbon interface (which wouldn't work for this app anyway), but they still removed the menu bar and seemingly tried to put all important functions on the button bar. Requiring a keyboard shorcut ("Alt") to access the menu was annoying to me and probably frustrating to novice/intermediate users.

I think this simple change will significantly improve usablility. I'll still be an Opera man, though.

didnt RTFA (0, Flamebait)

resignator (670173) | more than 6 years ago | (#20865975)

does this apply to all MS updates or just IE7?

IE7 on MS VirtualPC (3, Insightful)

Allicorn (175921) | more than 6 years ago | (#20865983)

As a web developer I've been using Microsoft's own VirtualPC doodad which they provided - for free - with a working XP Pro image that had IE6 installed on it. Since you can't really run IE6 and 7 on the same machine this was useful. One IE on my real drive, the other in the virtual machine. The problem was, I really did not want to put IE7 on the real machine.

So anyway, I figured I'd just download IE7 on the virtualized XP Pro. Imagine my surprise when that copy of Windows, freshly downloaded from microsoft.com, failed to pass WGA validation! :-/

Tredosoft came to the rescue of course with their various clever ways of getting different versions of IE to play (moderately) nicely together, but it still wasn't ideal.

Now I guess I can get IE7 to work on that XP image.

Re:IE7 on MS VirtualPC (1)

compupc1 (138208) | more than 6 years ago | (#20866073)

It fails because that copy of XP is meant ONLY for testing IE 6 -- it's not a fully liscenced copy of Windows. There is a separate image available with IE 7 already.

StarForce? (1)

LarsG (31008) | more than 6 years ago | (#20866019)

It is rather common for game manufacturers to remove StarForce or other cd-tethering protection after the game has been out for a while. So, like, MS issued a no-cd patch for IE7 then?

Oh, now I see... (3, Interesting)

1001011010110101 (305349) | more than 6 years ago | (#20866033)

...why I got last night another proposal to install MSIE7.
I was like "WTF, I already said NO. And dont remind me again AGAIN".

Hope it finally listens =)

Good! Well maybe... (3, Funny)

Thyamine (531612) | more than 6 years ago | (#20866063)

Just the other day I was trying to repair a PC where IE7 was having a variety of issues. I installed Firefox, explained the benefits, and then attempted to use Firefox to download IE7 since he needed it for some apps for work. However, the WGA was failing with all the same problems that IE7 was failing with. The irony (yes yes, not the right word) of it was I was actively trying to get IE from Firefox, and MS wouldn't let me do it without getting a validation code from all the WGA nonsense.

He was happy to hear about Firefox and plans on using that now instead, and after uninstalling IE7, found IE6 to be functional enough for those few times he needs it. So, while WGA is a pain in the ass, it helped convert one more person to Firefox. So I don't know how I feel about them removing it. ;-)

Re:Good! Well maybe... (1)

Professor_UNIX (867045) | more than 6 years ago | (#20866219)

The irony (yes yes, not the right word) of it was I was actively trying to get IE from Firefox, and MS wouldn't let me do it without getting a validation code from all the WGA nonsense.
Didn't there used to be an application you could download to manually validate the system though? After that you'd be able to grab IE7.

That's why I did it! (1)

Tommi Morre (235789) | more than 6 years ago | (#20866211)

"...or did it just send people over to alternative browsers?"

That's what happened to me -- I needed to upgrade to see a page, I went to IE's upgrade site, and it asked me for stuff I hadn't seen in at least a year. So, this post isn't being typed into an IE window.

Windows 2000 (1)

tji (74570) | more than 6 years ago | (#20866263)

So, does this mean it can be installed on Windows 2000?

I use Win2K in a virtual machine, and have never had the need to upgrade to XP or Vista.

One of the few issues I have run into with staying on Win2K is the inability to run IE7. Not that I want to run it.. I am quite happy with Firefox. But, some projects I am working on have www components that I would like to verify with IE7. So, this would be nice to have.

Download a Virtual PC image (1)

friedegg (96310) | more than 6 years ago | (#20866345)

Microsoft offers an XP SP2 + IE7 Virtual PC image [microsoft.com] for testing. It has a date expiration, so you do need to download new ones every few months.

Might be a reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20866381)

That WGA validation really hold me from trying IE7 on my pirated XP.

Anyway, I actually prefer Firefox and that's what I use all the time
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