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Microsoft Offers IE7 to All, Pirates Included 179

Posted by Zonk
from the so-generous dept.
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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Microsoft Offers IE7 to All, Pirates Included

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  • by Tatarize (682683) on Saturday October 06, 2007 @05:01PM (#20882343) Homepage
    Or was the article just overstating things again?
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by webmaster404 (1148909)
      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? (Score:5, Informative)

        by micksam7 (1026240) * on Saturday October 06, 2007 @05:05PM (#20882375)
        IE7 also fixes a lot of HTML rendering and CSS bugs. Definately not all, but a considerable amount.
        • Fixing some bugs and not all just means yet another layer of compatibility hacks for the devs to code up.
          • I hate IE as much as the next web dev. But show me a single rendering engine that doesn't fix some bugs but not all of them each time they release a new version. Did Firefox 1.5 have bugs, and then 2.0 was completely bug-free? As much as I wish there was a bug-free renderer, there's not. PrinceXML comes VERY close, but it only renders to pdf.
        • by tepples (727027)

          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?
          • by FinestLittleSpace (719663) * on Saturday October 06, 2007 @05:45PM (#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.
            • Another thing to look out for using those hacks (most notably the Multiple IE one), is that there is some oddness introduced in certain circumstances. For example, if I have IE7 installed on my machine, and I'm running the multiple IE version of IE6 - things such as the direct x hack for displaying PNG's can act strangely. I'm not sure of what other things like that are either broken, or using new components instead of the apropriate ones per browser, but I'm sure there are quite a few.
              Has anyone else enc
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by nmb3000 (741169)
            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
        • Unfortunately... (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Spy der Mann (805235) <spydermann,slashdot&gmail,com> on Saturday October 06, 2007 @05:46PM (#20882759) Homepage Journal
          they've fixed also the bugs that made it possible to work around the bugs that they have NOT fixed yet! :-/

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Kelson (129150) *

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

            On the plus side, conditional comments [quirksmode.org] help with that. They make it much easier to target a section of HTML or a stylesheet link to only IE6, or only IE7, or only IE up through 7, etc. And since they're intended functionality, not bugs, they're less likely to stop working in the future.

            • The only downpoint to this, is that there is no way to keep it self contained in a single stylesheet like we could before. We now have to split the IE hacks into their own stylesheets, potentially causing a great deal of extra IE specific files. Or alternately muddy our html further w/ inline IE specific hacks.
              Not a huge deal, but certainly annoying. On the plus side, if you split them all to ie specific stylesheets, it will be easy to find and axe them should Microsoft ever learn how to write a web brow
          • they've fixed also the bugs that made it possible to work around the bugs that they have NOT fixed yet! :-/
            Could a corporate conspiracy theorist please explain for me how doing this helps MS themselves? I've looked and looked, but I can't find any malicious, evil, ungodly corporate behaviour, just raw stupidity. Thanks in advance.
        • Re:IE7 on Linux? (Score:5, Informative)

          by dvice_null (981029) on Saturday October 06, 2007 @06:20PM (#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]

          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            The table on that page is rather misleading. While in theory IE6 'supports' almost as much CSS as IE7 (notwithstanding that IE7 massively increased the amount of selectors and pseudo-selectors available), much of this supposed support is broken. IE7 still has its problems, mainly to do with the mysterious layout [satzansatz.de] property, but is a far better implementation of CSS 2.1 than IE6.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by mjjw (560868)
            I'll probably get modded down for saying this but ... Those figures are kind of redundant. The majority of people browsing the web use IE. Therefore the majority of webmasters make websites that look as intended in IE.

            I used to work for a company where the attitude towards Firefow web browsers was "They are a small percentage of the browser market. If your page works in Firefox then that's great but if it doesn't we don't really care enough to fix it."

            In other words it doesn't matter how much of the officia
      • by mackyrae (999347)
        That's been do-able for a while. I mean, it still has the IE6 UI, but you're able to test for IE7's rendering bugs (which are thankfully fewer than IE6's). I'm actually very glad they're forcing IE6 users to upgrade to IE7. It means there are a *lot* less people with buggy rendering engines to account for.
    • by mangu (126918) on Saturday October 06, 2007 @05:08PM (#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: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      You misread. They're giving IE7 to pirates, not to ninjas.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      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
      • by mikkelm (1000451)

        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.
    • It might work in Wine, but I doubt it.
  • Competition (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hack slash (1064002) on Saturday October 06, 2007 @05:04PM (#20882371)
    I'm inclined to say they're removing the WGA restriction because the popularity of FireFox is now rivalling IE.
    • counterpoint (Score:5, Insightful)

      by packetmon (977047) on Saturday October 06, 2007 @05:08PM (#20882405) Homepage
      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.
      • by fwarren (579763)
        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.

        Well Vista already comes with IE7, so they are taken care of.

        Those that are security minded running XP/2000 have already moved on th Firefox. That means the only people gettitng IE7. Are currently running IE6 and already p

    • Re:Competition (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Zarel (900479) on Saturday October 06, 2007 @05:29PM (#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 (Score:4, Interesting)

    by packetmon (977047) on Saturday October 06, 2007 @05:06PM (#20882385) Homepage
    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.
  • The same story was posted yesterday.
  • by Comatose51 (687974) on Saturday October 06, 2007 @05:08PM (#20882413) Homepage
    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.
    • by MLCT (1148749)

      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.
      • 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?
        • by Kelson (129150) *

          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?

          Probably not very big. I know one shouldn't extrapolate too far from one site's statistics, but I see more hits from Vista machines (7.8%) than from Windows 2000, Windows Me, Windows 98 and Windows 95 combined (4.1%). That still represents a huge number of actual machines, but it's nowhere near enough to account for IE6's 37% share of the same da

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by petermgreen (876956)
      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 tha
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by dryeo (100693)
      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
      • by NightHwk1 (172799)
        Luckily, these days not "supporting" a browser no longer means putting up some kind of error message that says "This site is optimized for X; your browser sucks!" It's more a matter of simply not testing it in IE6.
    • In the process of making some things more standards-compliant, they removed some of the things that used to work (as "quirks") in older IEs, but failed to make all of them standards-compliant. As a result, some things don't display properly either on sites that are designed for IE6, OR when the layouts are standards-compliant. I noticed this early, when a VERY simple site would not display properly under IE7. I tries "quirks mode", and pure strict XHTML, and neither worked. So I UN-installed IE7 and went ba
  • by Jay L (74152) <{mf.yaj} {ta} {hsals+yaj}> on Saturday October 06, 2007 @05:09PM (#20882423) Homepage
    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.
    • 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: (Score:1, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Almost all patches are easy to uninstall

        The fucking SUMMARY mentions how to uninstall IE7

        Idiot
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by ColdWetDog (752185)

        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!

      • by Jay L (74152)
        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
    • > 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?
      • by Jay L (74152)
        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
        • >>But a completely different browser

          >Same browser. New version.

          completely different from the former. Of course if the source were open, we could discuss how much of the IE6 code is still there.

          >>with a different GUI

          >Same basic GUI. New polish.

          Which makes that different. If you take the same amount of time figuring out IE7 GUI and FF Opera Konqueror or Safari, I didn't and nobody who came to me complaining about the "polish" did either. Coincidence?

          >>and different HTML rendering

          >Sa
  • Why all the hate? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Justus (18814) on Saturday October 06, 2007 @05:10PM (#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: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by webmaster404 (1148909)
      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 h
    • 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 sole

      • by Jugalator (259273)

        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.

    • by bcrowell (177657)

      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 hitc

    • 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.
    • Speaking as a web developer, IE7 makes my life a hell of a lot easier.

      Also speaking as a web developer, IE7 makes my life a hell of a lot harder. The first release broke every e-commerce Website that I looked at. Looking forward, it's yet another different version of IE to support and its threading model has got worse (e.g try running javascript in the parent while a child iframe loads). I wish they'd got much closer to standards compliance and had finished testing before releasing it.

  • by QuietLagoon (813062) on Saturday October 06, 2007 @05:16PM (#20882469)
    Windows 2000 users and Windows XP SP1 users are excluded.
    • As is Win98SE. That's what I use when I'm not using a real OS.
    • by Ilgaz (86384) *

      Windows 2000 users and Windows XP SP1 users are excluded.

      As an Apple user, I must paste this and get modded down :)

      http://www.apple.com/safari/ [apple.com]

      for Mac OS X v10.4.9 or later

      It is always the same thing if you use OS'es default browser. Also nobody can guarantee Safari 3 Final will ship for 10.4.9 (the day Leopard ships) It is all up to Apple.

      Interesting is, now Opera and Omniweb requires minimum 10.4 , somehow Apple dictates them minimum 10.4. Not pointing a gun to their faces of course, it is just Developer tools and how system works.

  • pirates my eye, arrr (Score:3, Interesting)

    by megabunny (710331) on Saturday October 06, 2007 @05:19PM (#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
  • 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).
    • by rossdee (243626)
      Why someone who has FireFox download IE7?
    • by Shados (741919)
      Last time I had to do a WGA with Firefox, the web site just told me to run some program and enter some code. Did that change?
      • Last time I had to do a WGA with Firefox, the web site just told me to run some program and enter some code. Did that change?
        Yes, the path to upgrade is simply to install IE7 now. No extra hoops to jump through, no extra problems that fail to recognize a 'genuine' copy for many users.
        • by Shados (741919)
          Sorry, NOW its like that I understand... but I was replying to a post saying that even before the recent change, with Firefox and stuff it was a pain, which I didnt remember it being so :)
    • IE 7 can't officially be installed on any version of windows that didn't ship with IE from the factory.

      also iirc MS provides a downloadable EXE which you can use to validate your copy of windows and get your download if you are using a browser other than IE.

  • That explains why I had to tell Windows to ignore that update the other day.
  • 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: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Jugalator (259273)
      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. :-)
    • 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!!!
  • by techno-vampire (666512) on Saturday October 06, 2007 @05:32PM (#20882633) Homepage
    When I first saw this, by first thought was, "Yes, Pinkie, but who would want it?"
  • by erroneus (253617) on Saturday October 06, 2007 @05:55PM (#20882831) Homepage
    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.
    • by houghi (78078)
      I do not think you understand the power of marketing, the power of a monopoly and who their clients realy are.

      They are not much interested in Joe Smoe. They are interested in Dell and such to push their OS down your throat. Everybody I know who bought a new computer complaints about Vista on it, yet what do they actualy do? Nothing (exept for a few, some of them even BOUGHT XP).

      With a monopoly, you do not need trust. With a monopoly, you need to keep the law on your side and in the US that is easy. It is is
  • 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 alt
  • forced updates (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nurb432 (527695) on Saturday October 06, 2007 @06:12PM (#20882971) Homepage Journal
    While its nice they are going to drop the WGA requirment, *forced* updates are just wrong.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 06, 2007 @06:14PM (#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.

  • Perhaps they are starting to again realize a certain level of piracy is good for them, as it increases market penetration and 'collateral' sales.
    • by Miamicanes (730264) on Saturday October 06, 2007 @08:42PM (#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") i
  • 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?
  • As long as windows update works with IE6, i don't think i'll need IE7.

  • by dontspitconfetti (1153473) on Saturday October 06, 2007 @06:42PM (#20883157) Homepage
    Microsoft's next move: Instead of just giving IE7 to everyone, they offer to pay people just to use it over other browsers.
  • 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 nobo
  • by Myria (562655) on Saturday October 06, 2007 @07:46PM (#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...
  • 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! (Score:3, Funny)

    by PPH (736903) on Saturday October 06, 2007 @11:12PM (#20884719)
    Watch who ye be callin' a pirate there, matey!
  • by DragonTHC (208439) <Dragon@gamerslST ... .com minus berry> on Saturday October 06, 2007 @11:41PM (#20884823) Homepage Journal
    bullshit.

    It's in Microsoft's best interest that they regain market share.
  • The IE7 upgrade is still limited to XP SP2 only. There's still a lot of computers running prior versions of Windows (including XP without SP2).

    Not to mention that only a small fraction of people actually install Windows updates.

    Anyway, what I'm trying to say here is: IE6 won't die just yet. We Web devs will still have to support IE6 (in one way or another) for quite a long time.
  • by Klaidas (981300)
    Uhh, ok. So is it a forced update if you have updates set to automatically install themselves?
    And why would you want to remove it if you had updates to automatic in the first place? Gee, I understand that you like anyone who is biased against Microsoft, but this is just ridiculous.
  • ...if you choose not to use WGA?

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