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Microsoft Offers IE7 to All, Pirates Included

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the so-generous dept.

Internet Explorer 179

sjdurfey writes "Microsoft recently decided to open up IE7 to all users of Windows, not just the ones with legitimate copies of Windows. They claim it is in the 'end-users best interest'. As a result, Microsoft has decided to mark IE7 as a 'High-priority' update. This is essentially a forced update. Granted, its only a forced update if you are running Windows and have windows update set to automatically install all updates, but nevertheless, it's unnecessary. You can however uninstall IE7 from the Add/Remove Programs menu after its been installed. 'A blocking tool kit is still available for companies and organizations that don't use Windows Server Update Services and want to permanently prevent IE7 from automatically installing on PCs equipped with IE6.'" Update: 10/06 21:19 GMT by Z :Sorry if this seems a bit familiar.

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179 comments

IE7 on Linux? (5, Funny)

Tatarize (682683) | more than 6 years ago | (#20882343)

Or was the article just overstating things again?

Re:IE7 on Linux? (2, Interesting)

webmaster404 (1148909) | more than 6 years ago | (#20882359)

Im assuming this means that you can run it in Wine if you want, but IE7 is just the slower, more bloated version of IE6 with a few security patches updated. Seriously, its slower I have no clue why but I guess that just makes me happier I wiped Windows off my hard drive long ago and now have Ubuntu installed. Now FF3 is much faster then FF2 just from the betas

Re:IE7 on Linux? (5, Informative)

micksam7 (1026240) | more than 6 years ago | (#20882375)

IE7 also fixes a lot of HTML rendering and CSS bugs. Definately not all, but a considerable amount.

Re:IE7 on Linux? (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 6 years ago | (#20882555)

Fixing some bugs and not all just means yet another layer of compatibility hacks for the devs to code up.

But not on Windows 2000 (2, Interesting)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#20882639)

IE7 also fixes a lot of HTML rendering and CSS bugs. Definately not all, but a considerable amount.
True, but because a lot of web users still run Windows 2000 Professional, which doesn't have IE 7, I as a web developer still need to keep one machine around with IE 6 on it so that I can test my web site against IE 6's bugs. That's why I've hidden IE 7 on one XP machine while installing it on the other. Is there a better way to handle multiple IEs on one PC?

Re:But not on Windows 2000 (3, Informative)

FinestLittleSpace (719663) | more than 6 years ago | (#20882739)

Yep, I've been using this setup all on one machine for a while now:
http://tredosoft.com/Multiple_IE [tredosoft.com]
http://tredosoft.com/IE7_standalone [tredosoft.com]

Works an absolute treat. The only problem I've come across (aside from a few sporadic crashes) is that some of the IE version don't identify themselves as the appropriate IE version when using [If IE x] tags to call different stylesheets in the XHTML. There areregistry fixes for this, but I don't have links to hand.

Re:But not on Windows 2000 (2, Informative)

nmb3000 (741169) | more than 6 years ago | (#20883365)

Is there a better way to handle multiple IEs on one PC?

Yes [msdn.com] .

The only downside is that the virtual machine image is time-bombed to expire in December 2007. They usually release a new version of the image a month or so before it expires, each image lasting around 6-8 months. Since you only use this for testing it shouldn't be a big deal.

The alternative is to use one of several methods that allow you to have both IE6 and IE7 installed on the same machine, but this rarely works 100%. The most common problems are user agent strings and conditional comments. These settings are stored in the registry and all versions of IE access the same set of values. This means that IE6 will use the IE7 conditional comments and user-agent giving you inaccurate results.

Unfortunately... (5, Interesting)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 6 years ago | (#20882759)

they've fixed also the bugs that made it possible to work around the bugs that they have NOT fixed yet! :-/

Re:IE7 on Linux? (4, Informative)

dvice_null (981029) | more than 6 years ago | (#20883015)

> IE7 also fixes a lot of HTML rendering and CSS bugs. Definately not all, but a considerable amount.

Considerable amount?
html/xhtml support went from 73% to 73%
css 2.1 support went from 51% to 56%

Yeah, sure that is better than before, but they are still far behind the other browsers:
Firefox 2:
html/xhtml: 90%
css 2.1: 92%

Opera 9:
html/xhtml: 85%
css 2.1: 94%

http://www.webdevout.net/browser-support-summary [webdevout.net]

"open up IE7 to all users of Windows" (3, Informative)

mangu (126918) | more than 6 years ago | (#20882403)

Of course, this being /., you didn't RTFA, but you could read just the first line. Oh, sorry, I see. You would have missed "frist ps0t"...

Re:IE7 on Linux? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20882407)

You misread. They're giving IE7 to pirates, not to ninjas.

This shows that Microsoft is a great company. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20882449)

Microsoft won't stop at anything to outsell the competition. ...Even if that means giving it away for free.

What do you think is next?

Maybe Microsoft will pay users to use their software. Then they can compete with Mozilla and Linux!

If Microsoft started paying users to use Windows Vista, maybe they could finally compete with Windows XP.

What is your price to use Windows Vista with Office 2007?

I think that Microsoft can do really well with this because they can make up for the loss in volume.
-- American Margin Investor

Re:This shows that Microsoft is a great company. (1)

mikkelm (1000451) | more than 6 years ago | (#20882523)

Maybe Microsoft will pay users to use their software. Then they can compete with Mozilla and Linux!
Heh, yeah, because there's no way Windows can compete with Linux in today's market.

Re:This shows that Microsoft is a great company. (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 6 years ago | (#20883049)

If what they pay me for installing it is comparable to the price of a computer capable of running it, I'd definitively take it. After all, nothing can beat a free computer, and after all, you still can dual-boot Linux on that. :-)

How about that mstsc? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20883305)

Did anyone notice the recent update to the Remote desktop client that changes the way it works (you have to type credentials before it connects now (by default at least)).

This really sucked for some of the people I work with. Non techie folk who use that software and found their process for doing part of their job changed without the IT guys realising it.

Unexpectedly changing to IE7 (which, any other sinds aside, sucks SOLELY on the basis of being very very different from IE6) will be a confusing and bad thing for people.

Competition (5, Insightful)

hack slash (1064002) | more than 6 years ago | (#20882371)

I'm inclined to say they're removing the WGA restriction because the popularity of FireFox is now rivalling IE.

counterpoint (5, Insightful)

packetmon (977047) | more than 6 years ago | (#20882405)

I don't think it necessarily has anything to do with competition... I've got a feeling Windows XP/Vista/etc are so apt to get pwnd by the sheer amount of IE6 and under exploits, MS would rather focus resources moving forward than placing those resources on EOL programs. I know I would... Why spend even $1.00 on yesterdays programs when you really don't care about them, why not make that dollar more useful and productive focusing on now and tomorrow.

Security? Yeah right. More M$ Lock in. (2)

twitter (104583) | more than 6 years ago | (#20883465)

I've got a feeling Windows XP/Vista/etc are so apt to get pwnd by the sheer amount of IE6 and under exploits, MS would rather focus resources moving forward than placing those resources on EOL programs

Anyone really concerned with security has already moved to Firefox and will soon be moving GNU/Linux or Mac. IE7 and Vista have not fixed anything important [slashdot.org] . M$ could not care less about your security.

The only thing strange is that M$ ever did anything to inhibit IE7 in the first place. It's a crucial piece of their attack on web standards, which in turn is ever more important in maintaining their desktop monopoly.

Re:Security? Yeah right. More M$ Lock in. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20883537)

Hello there, fellow Slashdotter. Your keyboard seems to be malfunctioning. Instead of an 'S' you seem to be transmitting a dollar sign ('$') over-the-wire. Please correct this problem ASAP.

Thanks, and enjoy every sandwich!

Re:Competition (0, Troll)

HartDev (1155203) | more than 6 years ago | (#20882501)

if you had not written this I would have. All I can see is a large blinking light saying "firefox is kicking the crap out of us!" MS is having a bad year, Vista turns people to Linux, IE turns people to firefox, too bad the xbox 360 couldn't be as helpful to Sony's PS3 as it has been to Open Source programs....

Re:Competition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20882813)

Vista turns people to Linux

LOL. I know people that bought a Vista computer and replaced it with XP. I know people that bought a Macintosh instead of buying a Vista computer. I've never heard of anyone going to linux over Vista.

Re:Competition (3, Insightful)

Zarel (900479) | more than 6 years ago | (#20882593)

I'm inclined to say they're removing the WGA restriction because the popularity of FireFox is now rivalling IE.
I, on the other hand, am inclined to say they're removing the WGA restriction because the popularity of IE6 is now rivalling IE7.

Stranger Daze||Days (3, Interesting)

packetmon (977047) | more than 6 years ago | (#20882385)

I wonder what will happen to the owner of those pirated machines when they decide "phew... I'm glad MS decided to allow at least this update!" Only to find out about a week or two later MS comes back with a "Gotcha!... All your files belong to us!" Anyway, on my Windows machines I find myself swapping off and on between both Firefox and IE7. I've found there are times when Firefox is just such a memhog while Windows isn't and vice versa, so I swap off between the two. Anyhow enough sidestepping... MS allowing pirates to do anything just sounds so far offbeat I predict MS with evil plans lurking in the background.

Microsoft Offers IE7 to All, Pirates Included (1)

kc2keo (694222) | more than 6 years ago | (#20882411)

Aaaaaarrrrrrrghhhhhh!!!!

I was robbed! (5, Funny)

labyrinth (65992) | more than 6 years ago | (#20883469)

I downloaded and installed IE7, but I can not find a trace of the promised 'included pirates'

Re:Stranger Daze||Days (0, Troll)

hasbeard (982620) | more than 6 years ago | (#20882437)

Actually its, "All your bases are belong to us."

Re:Stranger Daze||Days (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20882881)

Actually, it's a snowclone. And it's "base", not "bases". Actually, I must be new here.

Re:Stranger Daze||Days (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20882487)

Wow! Somebody criticizes FireFox ("a memhog") and is then modded Troll.

Gotta love zealots.

Re:Stranger Daze||Days (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 6 years ago | (#20883235)

Given that he also did say bad things about Microsoft, it's hard to tell which type of zealot moderated him down.

Dupe? (1)

nlitement (1098451) | more than 6 years ago | (#20882387)

The same story was posted yesterday.

Re:Dupe? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20882567)

Tag Suggestions

dupe, itsatrap, articlecamebackverynextday

Re:Dupe? (2, Interesting)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 6 years ago | (#20883435)

Tag Suggestions

dupe, itsatrap, articlecamebackverynextday
Or maybe matrixreconfiguration.
Remember the cat.

I'm Siding with MS on This (4, Insightful)

Comatose51 (687974) | more than 6 years ago | (#20882413)

As a web developer, there's no browser I hate more than IE 6 and 5. IE 7, although not the most standard compliant browser out there, is a step closer to being there. A lot of what works on Firefox works on IE 7. IE 6/5 have to treated in a class of their own. I'm glad IE 6 will soon be gone, regardless of what is going to replace it. More importantly, I've been considering the idea of only support Firefox, Opera, and IE 7 for my new project and this move makes my choice easier.

Re:I'm Siding with MS on This (1)

MLCT (1148749) | more than 6 years ago | (#20882573)

I'm glad IE 6 will soon be gone


I wouldn't count on it. I can't believe that the only reason ~ 40-50% of IE users are still with V6 is because of the WGA.

Windows 2000 (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#20882669)

I wouldn't count on it. I can't believe that the only reason ~ 40-50% of IE users are still with V6 is because of the WGA.
How many percent of users running IE 6 as a primary browser are doing so on pre-XP operating systems, such as Windows 2000 Professional, which do not have IE 7?

Re:Windows 2000 (0, Flamebait)

ultramkancool (827732) | more than 6 years ago | (#20882783)

Then just run another browser dipshit.

Re:Windows 2000 (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#20882981)

Then just run another browser dipshit.
That's a horrible way to treat customers, who will head straight to the competitor's web site.

Re:Windows 2000 (1)

nickj6282 (896871) | more than 6 years ago | (#20882787)

More importantly, how many people use IE because they have no other choice? At the company I work for (10k+ workstations) IE6 is still the corporate standard, and they have no intention of moving to IE7 or anything else anytime soon. I know that a vast majority of the people I work with use non-IE browsers on their personal machines, but when we browse at work it looks like we are still IE6 supporters.

To make matters worse, the admins where I work actively block anything but IE from running on our network. It's a huge pain in the ass to run FireFox (but I still do it, tabbed browsing FTW!).

your sig (1)

alfs boner (963844) | more than 6 years ago | (#20883683)

halo three [wikipedia.org]? I'd rather die than give Microsoft control.

Your sig is really, really gay.

Why side with them? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20882601)

If MS cannot or won't create a genuinely standards-compliant browser (or are determined to own and create the standards) then fuck 'em. If a site I visit tells me my browser is "not standards compliant" because some point-n-click Windows-only pretend webdev monkey can't code for anything other than IE, I never visit the site again.

Since these are often online retailers, they are missing out on sales: and I always call or email the company to let them know about it. They may dismiss me with a "So what, plenty more IE users where you came from attitude!" but that just reassures me that withholding my cash from their business is the right thing to do.

Re:I'm Siding with MS on This (2, Informative)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 6 years ago | (#20884073)

HAHA

IE6 is still standard in many places that would have no problem with WGA (nice XP pro corprate edition with legit keys, just have to make sure your key doesn't get leaked to widely or you could have a LOT of rekeying to do). Afaict the main reason is intranet apps (either inhouse developed or bought in) that only work properly with IE6 and which are difficult, expensive or even impossible to fix.

I know that here at the university of manchester they officially do not support IE7 (though many machines that aren't centrally managed have ended up with it anyway) yet because of this.

Re:I'm Siding with MS on This (2, Insightful)

dryeo (100693) | more than 6 years ago | (#20884651)

I've been considering the idea of only support Firefox, Opera, and IE 7 for my new project and this move makes my choice easier.
Please support all gecko based browsers. I run Seamonkey and it is very irritating when sites only support Firefox.
There is no reason that a gecko based browser has to masquerade as Firefox

A forced update? (5, Funny)

Jay L (74152) | more than 6 years ago | (#20882423)

This is essentially a forced update.

Yes, if you have configured your computer to automatically download and install "high priority" as well as "critical" updates, and if you haven't installed the well-publicized, one-click tool that Microsoft provides that explicitly overrides any other settings and prevents you from ever accidentally installing IE7, you are "forced" to sit there and watch as your computer does exactly what you've configured it to do.

I had a similar problem with Ubuntu the other day - I have this script that automatically apt-gets any updated packages, and damned if the thing didn't force me to update all my packages that had updates! Commie bloodsuckers won't get my money again.

But Ubuntu lets you go back (1)

walterbyrd (182728) | more than 6 years ago | (#20882551)

Or so I would assume. I know I go back to earlier apps or whatever with debian.

That is one thing that I always hated about windows, once you "upgrade" there is no turning back.

Re:But Ubuntu lets you go back (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20882715)

Almost all patches are easy to uninstall

The fucking SUMMARY mentions how to uninstall IE7

Idiot

Re:But Ubuntu lets you go back (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20882763)

That is one thing that I always hated about windows, once you "upgrade" there is no turning back.
That is one thing I hate about haters, they don't know jack shit but complain anyway.

All updates and even security hotfixes(!) can be uninstalled from add/remove programs. Just make sure the "Show Updates" box is checked (it is clearly visible and only unchecked to keep the dozens and dozens of updates from cluttering the list, not because MS is hiding them).

Hell if you're really paranoid that the uninstall won't do the trick, just use a system restore point.

Re:But Ubuntu lets you go back (2, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 6 years ago | (#20882819)

That is one thing that I always hated about windows, once you "upgrade" there is no turning back.

Ah, you must be a trolling Apple fanboi. Any Windows user knows about the "Reinstall" hack. From personal experience.

Gotcha!

Re:But Ubuntu lets you go back (1)

Jay L (74152) | more than 6 years ago | (#20884293)

That is one thing that I always hated about windows, once you "upgrade" there is no turning back.

The knowledge base article [microsoft.com] on uninstalling IE7 is awfully lengthy, and the instructions wasn't mentioned in the article summary above until the very end. So I'll summarize it here for convenience:

1. Go to Add/Remove Programs
2. Select 'Show Updates'
3. Select 'Internet Explorer 7'
4. Select 'Uninstall'.

Then, as the KB article states, 'After you uninstall Internet Explorer 7, double-click the Internet Explorer icon to verify that Internet Explorer 6 is restored.'

Just to throw salt in the wound of my smugness, one last quote from the KB article: 'This article is intended for a beginning to intermediate computer user.'

Re:A forced update? (1)

marcello_dl (667940) | more than 6 years ago | (#20884189)

> Yes, if you have configured your computer to automatically download and install "high priority" as well as "critical" updates...

But a completely different browser with a different GUI and different HTML rendering is not an "update".

Might it be that long time windows users are as illiterate about computing as they were the first months because the window environment wants to redefine everything in its exclusive way to make it painful for people to try getting out?

Re:A forced update? (1)

Jay L (74152) | more than 6 years ago | (#20884261)

But a completely different browser

Same browser. New version.

with a different GUI

Same basic GUI. New polish.

and different HTML rendering

Same HTML rendering. Much better CSS rendering.

Might it be that long time windows users are as illiterate about computing

No, more that we just generally don't tend to complain that we shouldn't receive updates because they fix too many bugs.

as they were the first months because the window environment wants to redefine everything in its exclusive way to make it painful for people to try getting out?

Do what?

Why all the hate? (5, Insightful)

Justus (18814) | more than 6 years ago | (#20882435)

Why is there a consistent negative vibe around IE7, calling it a "forced update" and so on?

Speaking as a web developer, IE7 makes my life a hell of a lot easier. It's not perfect (it's not even great), but it's definitely better than IE6. If all the people still using IE magically became IE7 users, at least I wouldn't have to worry about some of the retarded things like the lack of alpha PNG support. I can understand that you might not want to upgrade if you're a business with a variety of web apps that rely on IE6--my heart goes out to you--but I would really like to see it pushed on the home user. Another legitimate complaint, of course, is that the GUI for IE7 is not what I would call intuitive; I do wish Microsoft had provided a version with IE6's GUI but IE7's rendering engine.

We should be trying to make the web incrementally better whenever possible, instead of making snide remarks because it's not a 100% solution.

Re:Why all the hate? (3, Insightful)

webmaster404 (1148909) | more than 6 years ago | (#20882483)

Because from an end user's prospective, IE7 fails. Its slower, has a totally different GUI, and uses up more memory then IE6. On people's computers who have upgraded from a Windows 98/2000 computer to XP it can make their computer just about unusable because it wasn't meant for use by people who have 256 MB of RAM on a 1 Gzh machine, and yes there is a lot of them out there and IE6 is about the only web browser that will run decent on there except possibly Opera (well Konqueror might work but these people have Windows) on XP. FF won't because it uses up around 50 MB of memory even when compiled from scratch after an hour or two of browsing.

Re:Why all the hate? (1)

stormeru (1027946) | more than 6 years ago | (#20882661)

has a totally different GUI

From TFA:
"The IE7 update also sports a few tweaks: The menu bar is now visible by default, for example"

If you were talking about tabs, nobody forces the user to open more than one. :)

Re:Why all the hate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20882869)

Actually it's faster and has a smaller memory footprint than IE6.

Re:Why all the hate? (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 6 years ago | (#20883277)

But if it's faster, it makes more footprints in the same time. So while the individual footprint may be smaller, the total footprints size at any given time may still be larger. :-)

Re:Why all the hate? (1)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 6 years ago | (#20882553)

Why is there a consistent negative vibe around IE7, calling it a "forced update" and so on?
antiMS feelings of slashdot. [rightfully so]

Speaking as a web developer, IE7 makes my life a hell of a lot easier. It's not perfect (it's not even great), but it's definitely better than IE6.
as a web designer you probably appreciate firefox, opera and pretty much every other browser follwing the standards better than IE. there isn't really a technical reason why IE doesn't follow the standards, it seems to be solely to lock out the competition. look how many webpages have been written for IE and to hell with other browsers... the bast thing MS could do in the situation would be to remove any roadblocks, artificial or technical to adopting their browser and by extension any standards, OSes etc. that tie in with that. it's in their best interests to get people accustomed to using their software, pirated or otherwise. at least in that case they aren't using anyone else's browser.

Re:Why all the hate? (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 6 years ago | (#20882987)

as a web designer you probably appreciate firefox, opera and pretty much every other browser follwing the standards better than IE. there isn't really a technical reason why IE doesn't follow the standards, it seems to be solely to lock out the competition. look how many webpages have been written for IE and to hell with other browsers... the bast thing MS could do in the situation would be to remove any roadblocks, artificial or technical to adopting their browser and by extension any standards, OSes etc. that tie in with that. it's in their best interests to get people accustomed to using their software, pirated or otherwise. at least in that case they aren't using anyone else's browser.
Heh, it's like you didn't even read what you commented on. IE7 isn't perfect so yes, some of what you say still apply, but it's much better off than IE6, so they're at least lesser problems than before.

Re:Why all the hate? (1)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 6 years ago | (#20882939)

If all the people still using IE magically became IE7 users, at least I wouldn't have to worry about some of the retarded things like the lack of alpha PNG support.

And ditto for CSS. Although IE7's CSS support isn't perfect, it's waaaay better than IE6's.

I can understand that you might not want to upgrade if you're a business with a variety of web apps that rely on IE6--my heart goes out to you...
My heart doesn't go out to those businesses (although it might go out to their IT staffs). Anyone who hitches their wagon to software that violates www standards is ... uh ... an idiot who gets what he deserves.

Re:Why all the hate? (1)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 6 years ago | (#20883915)

IE7's user interface is absolutely ghastly. It's considerably different from IE6, and doesn't offer much (if anything) in terms of improvements.

From the user's perspective, the transition from IE6 to Firefox is much less than the transition between IE6 and IE7.

I welcome the improved standards support in IE7, and laud Microsoft for (finally) doing so. However, Firefox remains the superior browser out of the two.

Re:Why all the hate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20884169)

I for one, welcome IE7's new and peculiar GUI overlord. Reason being, I work in tech support. Many of us techies would be astounded by how many old people with IE6 have moved the address bar and can't get it back.

my dialogue has now refined to:
"Do you see the address bar? You know, that long bar with the HTTP and stuff like that?"

[cue trembly old person voice] ".... myweb search? it says 'done'. Is that what you want?"

Not all users of Windows. (4, Informative)

QuietLagoon (813062) | more than 6 years ago | (#20882469)

Windows 2000 users and Windows XP SP1 users are excluded.

Re:Not all users of Windows. (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 6 years ago | (#20882495)

As is Win98SE. That's what I use when I'm not using a real OS.

Re:Not all users of Windows. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20883479)

Wow! I thought I was the only one still using Windows 98.

Re:Not all users of Windows. (1)

Joe U (443617) | more than 6 years ago | (#20884125)

I'm annoyed about the lack of Windows 2000 support.

But lets be realistic, Service Pack 1 is not an operating system, it's a series of patches, bug fixes and system improvements. IE7 requires some of those patches to be present to function properly. While that may or may not be a good design on Microsoft's part, it is their call.

By this time if you're still having problems installing SP2 something is wrong on your end.

Re:Not all users of Windows. (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 6 years ago | (#20884475)

Same for original Windows XP (SP0).

pirates my eye, arrr (3, Interesting)

megabunny (710331) | more than 6 years ago | (#20882497)

This is not about the pirates. This is about the slow take up of IE 7 on the desktops. At our site, IE 7 is still test mode (site admins only). I have no interest in rolling this disruption out to our users. I use it every day and am still not used to it. Now, as a critical update, there will be a push to get it out. Sure, we can turn it off in WSUS. But the users are going to ask why we are not keeping up with their home machines. Yuk. MB

Re:pirates my eye, arrr (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20883035)

But the users are going to ask why we are not keeping up with their home machines.

Why don't you just be honest with them? Tell them as it is: you highly question the security of IE7. You suspect that it's vulnerable to a wide variety of security flaws. You don't believe the stability is reasonable, as you've had it crash on you several times each week during moderate browsing. They shouldn't be using it at home, as Firefox and Opera are better choices.

If you treat your users like sensible, intelligent individuals (even if if they aren't), then they will likely be far more understanding.

Catch-22 is the Reason (1)

Nymz (905908) | more than 6 years ago | (#20882511)

Since a browser is what most people would use to download a new version of a browser (like IE7) then you can't have a WGA requirement, because other browsers (like FireFox, Opera, whatever...) don't support WGA validation (without some hack).

Re:Catch-22 is the Reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20882581)

Microsoft offer a FireFox plugin for WGA, no hack necessary

Re:Catch-22 is the Reason (1)

rossdee (243626) | more than 6 years ago | (#20882937)

Why someone who has FireFox download IE7?

Re:Catch-22 is the Reason (1)

Z80xxc! (1111479) | more than 6 years ago | (#20883477)

Ever tried to download something requiring WGA validation using firefox? It says you must install the WGA plugin or download the WGA validator program.

The pain... (1)

Joseph1337 (1146047) | more than 6 years ago | (#20882525)

Is Vista not enough? It`s like kicking a lying person... or hitting her with a chair

Re:The pain... (1)

Drive42 (444835) | more than 6 years ago | (#20883753)

Good analogy

Ah (1)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | more than 6 years ago | (#20882565)

That explains why I had to tell Windows to ignore that update the other day.

Why this article posted twice on front page?! (1, Informative)

zukinux (1094199) | more than 6 years ago | (#20882631)

Slashdot people, is there something I don't understand? and I thought no WGA on IE title means the same as Microsoft offers IE7 to All, Pirates Included, or am I wrong... no, I'm not wrong : Article 1.5 day ago [slashdot.org]

GIMME KARMA POINTS! It took me at-least 1.3292 min to find the other article!

Re:Why this article posted twice on front page?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20882897)

>It took me at-least 1.3292 min to find the other article!

Wow. Talk about life in the fast lane... I'd have just rounded up to 1.33

(Congrats--see you got the karma)

Re:Why this article posted twice on front page?! (2, Funny)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 6 years ago | (#20883001)

Your aggressive comment on a dupe, that was a much more common phenomenon on Slashdot a few years ago and almost got to routine right before the Firehose got in, has to mean that Slashdot is posting less dupes nowadays, which is a good thing. :-)

Re:Why this article posted twice on front page?! (1)

Tibor the Hun (143056) | more than 6 years ago | (#20883329)

Holy crap!!
This kid used the search AND has never seen a dupe AND really is new to /.!

I for one would like to welcome you to /., you must be new here!!!

My first thought (4, Funny)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 6 years ago | (#20882633)

When I first saw this, by first thought was, "Yes, Pinkie, but who would want it?"

Microsoft has all but admitted to the trend (4, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 6 years ago | (#20882831)

At every turn you see Microsoft backing down on different things. They backed down (a little, but not enough) on their XP at year's end thing. Now they're backing down on the WGA thing. (That's still confusing to me though... If I ever ran into a WGA problem, I'd install a better release of XP that overcomes that problem.)

Gone are the days when people are excited by the next thing from Microsoft. (I remember lines outside of CompUSA when Win98 was released!) Gone are the days when people just blindly 'upgrade' to whatever is the latest thing from Microsoft. People have learned to mistrust them. Microsoft granting 'concessions' isn't really enough! They've lost TRUST. That can't really be restored with concessions and free stuff. Regardless of whether people actually accept the concessions or not is no indication that trust could be earned back or restored.

Nope. Something Else is Going On (1)

asphaltjesus (978804) | more than 6 years ago | (#20882931)

I admin a bunch of XP desktops including my work machine. The rest of them I'll let Microsoft have their way, but I want to know what's happening when they update, so I always do a manual update. IE7 was endlessly offered a few different ways every time I ran a manual updates on my machine.

E7's "are you sure?" endlessly maddening "security" model is the antithesis of innovation and Genuine Disadvantage (dude that's funny!) is not the deal maker here.

I think investors are tired of hearing about browser alternatives and are dragging out the bag of old tricks to maintain their monopoly.

forced updates (2, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#20882971)

While its nice they are going to drop the WGA requirment, *forced* updates are just wrong.

Re:forced updates (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 6 years ago | (#20883225)

Its not that it is a forced update, its that I consider IE7 to be a new product and as such should be explicitly requested.

Using the car analogy, Ford might be expected to recall and fit a safety problem with my old car, but they do not automatically replace and upgrade the centre console of your 2004 just because the 2008 model is out.

I still run Firefox 1.x in the office (I keep meaning to change it) but I am happy with the setup and I am a lot less concerned about browsing business sites with an out of date browser than I am about home browsing.
Mozilla haven't attempted to force this issue with me yet even though I have updates turned on.

Thank god, now if just everyone installed it (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20882983)

Oh I don't mean the linux or the mac or the firefox or the opera people, these people I don't care about. NOT because they don't matter, but because if a website doesn't work for their browser version they know that they must upgrade.

But the windows people, that is a different bunch of idiots, and I for one am sick to death of having to design each and every site to cope with the most obsolete version of IE. IE is already bad enough to code for, but the different version (Extreme cases 4) are a nightmare, not only do they not support any kind of standard, among the versions there is no standard. That is not even beginning to talk of the horror that is the mobile versions of IE.

I finally managed to have to only support from 5 onward and just accept that those with IE's older then that can just go and stuff themselves, IF (and I doubt this will happen) the cattle is FORCED to go to IE7 it will still mean I got to code to a crap browser but at least only one version of it.

Offcourse that won't happen, you still got people not on XP and people running CE and got knows what else kinda MS crap that has been making website design a living nightmare since MS found out about the web.

It is still amazing to me that in 2007 we still can't do implement those "cool things" from the mozilla demo page like the moving shadow because IE users can't be bothered to upgrade. This is 2007, and if you want to change the bankground color of a page, you better include a new set of images for all those "transparant" effects like the slashdot logo has (png support).

I would go further then just a forced upgrade, use IE7 or a real browser of you just don't get on the net anymore. Or maybe I should just work on sites where the audience is educated enough to upgrade their software. I am just sick to death of having to say "no, we can't do that cool thing because X% of our customers browsers don't support it and NO I cannot do a "this page best viewed with X link" because it ain't the 90's anymore.

Dropping WGA requirement (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#20883043)

Perhaps they are starting to again realize a certain level of piracy is good for them, as it increases market penetration and 'collateral' sales.

Re:Dropping WGA requirement (4, Insightful)

Miamicanes (730264) | more than 6 years ago | (#20883951)

Excellent point. Think about how new versions of Windows USED to become universally-deployed within a matter of days following their release:

* People bought a copy, and upgraded every computer they owned. And probably their parents' computer, too, if they were feeling particularly masochistic. Even the old, lame, and barely-running PCs & laptops that nobody would EVER spend $200 or more buying a separate copy of Windows for.

* People upgraded their work computers. This made admins unhappy, but it also forced them to deploy new versions of Windows a lot faster than they'd have otherwise liked, because they knew that the longer they waited, the more guerrilla upgrades they'd have to deal with. Most people who'll install a "free" copy of Windows to their work PC won't spend $200+ of their own money to buy a new copy of Windows for it.

In short, by locking down Windows to a single installation, Microsoft has gained very, very few actual new retail sales compared to what they would have had... but they've lost a HUGE amount of mindshare and free PR. Is there anyone who SERIOUSLY believes that Vista's issues with apps & drivers would have dragged on as long as they have if Vista had become ubiquitous overnight the way Windows95 did? By limiting Vista installations, Microsoft has effectively ensured that Vista represents a minority of Windows users. A minority whose wails have thus far been largely ignored by the next group... ... the Technorati Elite. You know, the people who got bitten by Windows Genuine Advantage for installing a virgin corporate copy of XP Pro on computers that probably DID have a Genuine Certificate of Authenticity, but only came with a dysfunctional "System Restore" disc and tons of crapware from the laptop/pc vendor's Strategic Partners of the Week. The guys/girls with at least 3 computers of their own (usually a high-powered desktop, a laptop, and the limping, scavenged remains of their desktop's previous incarnation -- most of whose components are STILL higher-end than currently-available "mainstream" PCs... and probably one or two more computers that mostly sit unused, but occasionally get fired up for some experimental purpose. Nobody, and I mean NOBODY -- not even someone for whom the cost is almost irrelevant -- is going to go out and blow the retail cost of Vista on computers #3 and beyond. And for these users, installing anything less than "Ultimate" (or at least "Professional") is unthinkable, anyway.

THESE are the REALLY dangerous users, because they're the "influencers" who others turn to for advice. And these are the same users who are currently pissed as hell at Microsoft for annoying them with WGA, and want nothing to do with Vista due to its DRM (real or imagined). God forbid, they might even be playing with Ubuntu on one or more machines. So... when Joe Sixpack asks his coworker Joel Aleet what he thinks about Vista, Joel is going to roast Microsoft and Vista, regardless of whether he's ever actually touched Vista. And Joe is going to walk away convinced that Vista is the Spawn of Satan, and when he orders his new PC from Dell, he'll ask to get it with XP. Stir, rinse, and repeat a few hundred thousand times, and you have Vista's current plight.

IMHO, Microsoft had the product breakdown mostly right with Windows XP -- a "Home" edition that's cheap, but lacks networking & management features businesses want, and a "Pro" version with everything else for about 50% more. If they really, REALLY had to, they could add a third level -- "Enterprise" -- that cost a lot more, but with a twist: it would come on the same CD/DVD as "Professional", and simply ask you at installation time which version you had. In other words, enforced purely by legal license rather than by technical means (like a different CD key). Why? Because it's a wonderfully-elegant way of ensuring that TRUE "Enterprise" users pay the higher cost, without burdening or pissing off everyone else. IMHO, the defining trait of an "Enterprise" (vs simply a "business") is the fact that in an "Enterprise", the lawyers are firmly in charge, and the company's driving fear is of getting sued. True "Enterprise" customers don't have to be beaten into submission -- they'll beat THEMSELVES up as a legal precaution.

Likewise, Microsoft can keep "activation" if they must, but make it widely known that multiple activations are kind of like unauthorized tethered data usage on Sprint -- officially prohibited, but generally ignored unless a particularly egregious pattern of abuse seems to be present (like a pattern that suggests a RESELLER is the one doing the pirating, vs an individual who bought one retail copy at the store). Unless, of course, the multiple-installer is found to be a business, in which case a BSA rep might happen to be stopping by. In other words, the exact situation that existed prior to Windows XP -- the home/personal users who wouldn't have bought more than one copy anyway are ignored, business users are bullied into compliance, and Enterprise customers voluntarily abuse THEMSELVES because the fine print (read only by the Enterprise's legal department, who then enforces it within the Enterprise far more effectively than Microsoft itself ever could) says they must. In any case, new versions of Windows would once again become ubiquitous overnight, and the pall hanging over Vista today would be little more than a valuable lesson learned by Microsoft.

Not News (1)

Rie Beam (632299) | more than 6 years ago | (#20883137)

It's funny what little impact this had on me. I had an update appear a few nights ago while checking my mail. I was alerted that a "priority update" wanted to be installed. I checked it, it was IE7, and I told it not to alert me again. Simple.

Is this news? Microsoft pushing for the latest marketable thing, regardless of need or desire?

Re:Not News (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20883653)

It's funny what little impact this had on me.

You're telling me. Try using Linux sometime.

it is unlikely i'll use IE7 (1)

someone1234 (830754) | more than 6 years ago | (#20883143)

As long as windows update works with IE6, i don't think i'll need IE7.

Re:it is unlikely i'll use IE7 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20883969)

What about SP3 for XP, does Microsoft plan to force feed IE7 onto everybody? If so I won't be installing that until I absolutely have to. The browser sucks for the end user with its inability to customize and the way it takes up so much screen space. And full screen is of no use. At least with Firefox I can choose which toolbars to use and autohide them using an extension.

Please, just take it!! (3, Funny)

dontspitconfetti (1153473) | more than 6 years ago | (#20883157)

Microsoft's next move: Instead of just giving IE7 to everyone, they offer to pay people just to use it over other browsers.

This is a good thing for webmasters (1)

chrysalis (50680) | more than 6 years ago | (#20883185)

From a webmaster point of view, this is a very good thing.

A lot of people are probably still running IE6 just because their Windows installation doesn't pass WGA tests, not because they don't want to upgrade to IE7.

IE7 has still a lot of bugs and limited css support, however it's far better than IE6. As a webmaster, I'd love that all IE6 user migrate to something else. I'm waiting for the day IE6 users will be so low that I could tell the boss "no need to spent time working on IE6 compatibility, almost nobody use it anymore".

Re:This is a good thing for webmasters (1)

fredricodagreat (1005203) | more than 6 years ago | (#20883387)

I do web design and honestly there isn't much improvement with IE7 when it comes to CSS support. I still have to manually tweak, disable, and generally design around IE in order for it to work properly.

I test out my site in Firefox 2, IE6, IE7, Opera, Safari, and Konqueror. Generally everything will work correctly in every browser except the two versions of IE and what displays incorrectly generally is the same thing in both browsers. Never have I seen it work correctly in one version of IE and not the other.

I see no bonus whatsoever. You get the same shit in a different package, that's all.

All != *nix? (1)

watermodem (714738) | more than 6 years ago | (#20883339)

I assume available to all means if I hit their site with Wine running on a *nix or MAC.... It will not download.......

That's fine and good but... (1)

themushroom (197365) | more than 6 years ago | (#20883375)

...but unless IE7 can be installed on Windows 2000, this new freedom means nothing to many users (especially in business) who didn't get suckered into an XP upgrade. Making the WMP10 update unavailable to Win2K users is one thing, but keeping a more secure native browser away from them is another.

Of course, there are better browsers for free... but tell some IT depts this. ;-)

IE7 64, very secure browser? (3, Insightful)

Myria (562655) | more than 6 years ago | (#20883583)

IE7 64 is the browser I use for high security. Its market share is very small, even among Win64 users. It presumably has the same undiscovered security bugs as IE7, but x86-32 shellcode just crashes on x86-64. They'd have to specifically design support for x86-64, and that market share is far lower than Firefox.

There was at least one exploit against IE that didn't involve shellcode - you could ask a particular ActiveX control to download and run a program. Obviously IE 64 wouldn't be immune to that...

As a web developer, I say thank you MS (1)

bjdevil66 (583941) | more than 6 years ago | (#20883743)

The faster IE6 goes away, the faster we can have fewer CSS issues in our XHTML/CSS. IE7 is hardly perfect, but it is much improved over IE6...

not a forced upgrade at least according to MS (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 6 years ago | (#20883885)

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/updatemanagement/bb259685.aspx [microsoft.com]

"Internet Explorer 7 will not install automatically - the Automatic Updates delivery process will include a welcome screen that offers users choices of Install, Don't Install, and Ask Me Later prior to installation."

Arrrgh! (2, Funny)

PPH (736903) | more than 6 years ago | (#20884719)

Watch who ye be callin' a pirate there, matey!
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