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IE8 Update Forces IE As Default Browser 311

Posted by timothy
from the how-awfullly-polite dept.
We discussed Microsoft making IE8 a critical update a while back; but then the indication was that the update gave users a chance to choose whether or not to install it. Now I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes in with word that the update not only does not ask, but it makes IE the default browser. "Microsoft has a new tactic in the browser wars. They're having the 'critical' IE8 update make IE the default browser without asking. Yes, you can change it back, but it doesn't ask you if you want IE8 or if you want it as the default browser, it makes the decisions for you. Opera might have a few more complaints to make to the EU antitrust board after this, but Microsoft will probably be able to drag out the proceedings for years, only to end up paying a small fine. If you have anyone you've set up with a more secure alternative browser, you might want to help check their settings after this."
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IE8 Update Forces IE As Default Browser

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  • Death to IE6! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mnslinky (1105103) * on Friday May 01, 2009 @08:11AM (#27785337) Homepage

    Here's to the end of IE 6 and all the hacks needed for site to render correctly!

    • Re:Death to IE6! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 01, 2009 @08:16AM (#27785383)

      Nope... Many corporations built their intranet around IE6 and changing browser will break it. Rather than spend buckets of money revamping their intranet, they are just more likely to keep going with IE6...

      • Re:Death to IE6! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by camperdave (969942) on Friday May 01, 2009 @08:35AM (#27785529) Journal
        I say go ahead and break the websites. They were all broken the minute they went browser specific.

        Granted, the fact that the HTML protocol could be interpreted two different ways indicates that it's not entirely Microsoft's fault... this time.
        • by pizzach (1011925)
          I know I am being lazy, but does IE8 natively support xhtml, yet? It seems like the perfect chance to get their rendering right without breaking compatibility with old websites if they only correct it for xhtml. I mean, really...how many corporate websites do you think use xhtml and depend heavily on Microsoft?
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Dragonslicer (991472)
            Not sure if this is quite what you mean, but in IE7, if you put an XHTML DOCTYPE tag at the top of a page, IE7 will render the page closer to correctly than it does without a DOCTYPE (I assume it renders it in the completely-broken IE6 mode).
            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by TheCycoONE (913189)

              IE7 and 8 do not natively support xhtml, they treat the document as SGML and apply SGML rules to it. This means that namespaces, MathML, etc. cannot be supported by that browser, and that it will not fail on invalid content as an xml parser should.

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by jonadab (583620)
                > IE7 and 8 do not natively support xhtml, they treat the
                > document as SGML and apply SGML rules to it. This means
                > that namespaces, MathML, etc. cannot be supported by
                > that browser,

                Actually, it's theoretically possible to still support those things without fully embracing all the other XML rules. It won't make the purists happy, but it can be done.

                > and that it will not fail on invalid content as an xml parser should.

                I consider completely failing on all invalid content to be an undesirabl
        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          I say go ahead and break the websites. They were all broken the minute they went browser specific.

          It is not and never has been about breaking websites, but about breaking the covenant with the customer. And that covenant is "I will take your money." When you start to interfere with the taking of money, your business suffers. Hence the runaway success of the monopoly-pumped IE6.

      • Re:Death to IE6! (Score:5, Interesting)

        by SirLurksAlot (1169039) on Friday May 01, 2009 @08:38AM (#27785553)

        You are correct, however this is true only in the short term. The whole argument of "We're saving money by not switching." will only hold water for so long. Eventually there will come a point at which their enforcement of IE6 will prevent them from being competitive. While everyone else is moving forward with new technologies that allow them to do more (and more securely) they'll still be stuck with applications that depend on ActiveX and open them up to attack. Also, if enough people are using IE8/Firefox outside of work (or more importantly enough management-types) their frustration with the older browser will eventually leak into the workplace, and there will be a push to upgrade intranet apps to get with the times. Change does happen in the corporate world, it just happens slowly.

      • Re:Death to IE6! (Score:4, Insightful)

        by penguin_dance (536599) on Friday May 01, 2009 @09:29AM (#27786057)

        It's not just about having built their intranet around IE6. A lot of (really large) companies I have done contract work for are still using Windows 2000 as their OS and you can't run anything newer than IE6 with that. I think when XP came along, they decided not to upgrade, but just wait until the next version of the OS came out. Then Vista came along....

    • Re:Death to IE6! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 01, 2009 @08:23AM (#27785439)

      It amazes me how when firefox has a new version, everyone downloads it with a warm and fuzzy feeling that it is going to be an improvement. However, whenever IE has a new version, people are so reluctant to download it that MS now has to force the public to upgrade.

      Way to go Microsoft!!! If your users are uncomfortable with upgrading, force them anyway.

      • Re:Death to IE6! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by ivucica (1001089) on Friday May 01, 2009 @10:18AM (#27786637) Homepage

        Real problem is they're forcing their browser to be default system browser, in place of Opera, Firefox, Chrome - whichever is your default. Y'know how aforementioned browsers (and older IE) ask you if you want them to be the default? The /. summary makes point of forcing IE8 as the default.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by supernova_hq (1014429)
          The summary calls this a "new" trick, IT IS NOT! They pulled the exact same shit when IE7 came out, trust me. I do tech-support for friends (who know nothing about computers). During one month (when they pushed the update), 90% of the people I helped (I always install firefox for them) phoned and said "What the hell happened to my bookmarks?!?". The first time it happened, it took me a while to figure out that they were not using FireFox, but that their keyboard-shortcut was now bound to IE7!

          Microsoft th
      • By The Numbers (Score:4, Informative)

        by westlake (615356) on Friday May 01, 2009 @11:12AM (#27787253)
        when firefox has a new version, everyone downloads it with a warm and fuzzy feeling that it is going to be an improvement. However, whenever IE has a new version, people are so reluctant to download it that MS now has to force the public to upgrade

        Browser Version Market Share [hitslink.com]

        IE 7 44.5%
        IE 6 17.5%
        IE 8 4.3%
        IE 5 0.04%
        IE 5.5 0.03%

        Firefox 3.0 20%
        Firefox 2.0 1.8%
        Firefox 3.1 0.18%
        Firefox 1.5 0.15%
        Firefox 1.0 0.06%
        Firefox 3.5 0.01%

        So call it 50% of the web for IE 7 and IE 8.

        Net Applications tracks hits to e-commerce and other mass market websites.

        It's not looking at techies. It's looking at guy who watches Fox News and does his shopping at K-Mart.

        The geek lives in a bubble.

        He believes what he wants to believe.

        • by pavon (30274) on Friday May 01, 2009 @02:50PM (#27791025)

          By those numbers, only 6.5% of IE users are running the latest version. Even if you include IE7 you get that only 73.5% of IE users have upgraded to a browser released in the last three years.

          On the otherhand, 91.4% of Firefox users are running the latest stable version or a beta version. And if you include FF2 (released the same month as IE7) 99.5% of firefox users have upgraded to a browser released in the last three years.

          Firefox users are far more likely to upgrade to the newest version than Internet Explorer users are, which is what he was claiming.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        It amazes me how when firefox has a new version, everyone downloads it with a warm and fuzzy feeling that it is going to be an improvement. However, whenever IE has a new version, people are so reluctant to download it that MS now has to force the public to upgrade.

        People who use Firefox generally understand the concept of updating software. Folks who use IE, en masse, don't even know that there's a difference between "Internet Explorer" and "web browser"; in fact, they might not even realise that IE is an application as such - how many times in your life did you hear, "and then I clicked on the blue Internet icon"? Making the former group update is easy - roll out a bunch of new features, including stuff only a geek would truly understand the meaning of and care abou

    • by sgbett (739519)

      Anecdotal I know, but of 20k visitors I got last month ~80% still on IE6... I'm not holding my breath.

    • by Antique Geekmeister (740220) on Friday May 01, 2009 @08:41AM (#27785589)
      Here's to making websites run on Lynx. They're invariably far faster, usually far more readable, far more usable for those with visual or manual problems, far lighter in bandwidth, and require far less testing for a variety of standards-violating clients.
      • The humour in this has not gone unnoticed by me, but you're also right. A website that doesn't work is Lynx is not really a website at all.

    • by quickcel (829628) on Friday May 01, 2009 @08:43AM (#27785599)
      Are you kidding? Death to the best browser around? Help us save IE6 and sign the petition! http://saveie6.com/ [saveie6.com]
    • by ryanvm (247662)

      Nope. IE7 has been a critical update for ages. Anyone still using IE6 has completely abandoned the critical update treadmill. You're stuck with them and their shitty browser until their machine is replaced.

      What this actually means is all your IE7 users will convert to IE8.

  • Nothing changes (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 01, 2009 @08:12AM (#27785349)

    IE remains the biggest security problem in Windows (besides user stupidity).

    If webpages can override the render engine in IE8 then IE8 is only as secure as the worst render engine.

    • by williamhb (758070)

      IE remains the biggest security problem in Windows (besides user stupidity).

      If webpages can override the render engine in IE8 then IE8 is only as secure as the worst render engine.

      Hmm, seems a little like saying that a slightly sour aftertaste is the biggest problem with strychnine (besides death).

      In any case, web pages can already call up any number of plugins the user probably has installed, already making browsers only as secure as the worst plugin (Adobe Reader being the popular culprit of the moment). The users who aren't savvy enough to be able to switch the browser default almost certainly aren't savvy enough to know which of their installed plugins are flawed.

    • That depends on how the alternative rendering is done, surely?
  • by lambent (234167) on Friday May 01, 2009 @08:13AM (#27785357)

    i updated IE8 manually on like 20 machines yesterday. it asked every time. it didn't kill my default browser selection.

    it there something i'm overlooking, like does automatic updates apply it and not ask you? am i missing something from TFA?

    • by Briareos (21163) * on Friday May 01, 2009 @08:18AM (#27785405)

      Well, there is one question during IE8 setup whether to use some (listed) default settings or the change those settings - maybe setting it as the default browser is one of those defaults?

      It didn't override Firefox being the default browser in my XP installation, at any rate...

      np: Can - Mother Upduff (Anthology (Disc 2))

      • works on my computer (Score:5, Informative)

        by RingDev (879105) on Friday May 01, 2009 @08:24AM (#27785445) Homepage Journal

        Not that I saw. I remember seeing an explicit "Make IE8 your default browser?" dialogue show up. I'm not sure about XP, but on Vista 64, it behaived exactly as I expected it to and did not change any settings that I didn't tell it explicitly to do.

        -Rick

        • It's conceivable that it only makes itself the default under certain circumstances. Maybe if you have auto-updates "fully" turned on (where it doesn't even ask, it just installs), it'll make it the default.
          I don't want to sound troll-ish but it's likely that people who have auto-update set to "download-and-install-automatically" aren't the more savvy set, and therefor MS thought they could get away with it (I almost added "and I don't want to sound like a conspiracy-theorist", but this is MS, it's *expected

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            You tried, but no cigar. My anecdote: XP Pro SP3, all auto-updates, upgraded to IE8 and left Firefox 3 as my default browser. I call troll on the article itself, from my anecdotal.
    • by LurkingOnSlashdot (1378465) on Friday May 01, 2009 @08:20AM (#27785419)

      Wasn't my experience either. I upgraded my home machines and my office computer to IE8 and do not recall that it became my default browser.

      • Same here (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Xest (935314) on Friday May 01, 2009 @10:04AM (#27786469)

        Installed on Vista 64.

        I think what TFA actually means to say is:

        "I got really click happy and just blindly clicked my way through the IE8 install without looking and it made itself my default browser, how dare it!"

    • by wiredog (43288) on Friday May 01, 2009 @08:50AM (#27785643) Journal

      On a WinXP SP3 box here at work.

    • i updated IE8 manually on like 20 machines yesterday. it asked every time. it didn't kill my default browser selection.

      it there something i'm overlooking, like does automatic updates apply it and not ask you? am i missing something from TFA?

      I just updated to it yesterday as well. Automatic Updates most definitely asks (I had said no previously, making it show up as optional and not selectedby default in the list of available updates to be installed) and most definitely explicitly asks you whether or not you want to make it your default.

      This is a silly story. Also, remember that IE8 and Firefox are both more secure than Safari, with 0 exploits found so far to get past their own security and the Vista sandbox (see pwn2own from this year and an

  • by CubicleView (910143) on Friday May 01, 2009 @08:17AM (#27785393) Journal

    If you have anyone you've set up with a more secure alternative browser

    Is it not a bit early to be deciding which browsers are more secure than IE8?

    • by Chrisq (894406) on Friday May 01, 2009 @08:30AM (#27785489)

      Is it not a bit early to be deciding which browsers are more secure than IE8?

      No it isn't, unless you believe in miracles. This isn't really Microsoft's fault but for every hacker who says "lets target Firefox and try to capture bank details" there are 100 trying to do it for IE.

      • by derGoldstein (1494129) on Friday May 01, 2009 @09:06AM (#27785791) Homepage

        How was this modded troll? It's a fact of life, and he even added "This isn't really Microsoft's fault" which most slashdotters wouldn't have bothered with.

        IE is the primary target for browser hacking, and will remain so as long as its market share is anywhere in the vicinity that it is now.

        The best thing you can do at the moment is install Firefox *and* Chrome *and* Opera and try to dedicate types of sites to each browser.
        I usually assign Google properties to Chrome, highly compliant sites to Opera, and everything else to Firefox.
        (This may sound paranoid, or just overkill, but I have to develop/test on multiple browsers anyway so for me it's also a way to get to know them better.)

        I'm not suggesting that everyone should install every browser, but at the very least install Firefox and make it the default, because they patch it early and often, and it's very good at maintaining itself (updating when you restart, checking for plugin updates, etc.)

      • by blueg3 (192743)

        That doesn't make Firefox more secure than IE, it makes the security vulnerabilities in IE more significant.

        • Normally I'd argue that Firefox *is* more secure, but I'll take a different approach:
          Who said Firefox was more secure? The question is how to reduce the chances of getting hacked, and by installing additional browsers you're making yourself a moving target. It's a form of security by obscurity. You can take this to the extreme if you want to: Use Opera by default. Once you reach a site that doesn't render properly, switch to Chrome. If that doesn't work, try it in Firefox. If it doesn't work in Firefox, you

  • by Avagadro's Number (624665) on Friday May 01, 2009 @08:18AM (#27785397)
    I installed IE8 through windows update in Vista and it asked me if I wanted to set it as the default browser. I clicked no and Firefox is still my default. If you use the full auto install it will make it the default browser. Of course, if you do the full auto install with any Microsoft product you deserve any pain that results.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by timmarhy (659436)
      fact check? your new here right?
    • by owlstead (636356)

      Deserve? Hell no. There's a reason that people want to have another browser. With Windows systems you can be almost certain that they've explicitly replaced IE with another one. So Windows update should definitively not mess with that setting. Especially not with an update.

  • If you let the IE install do it's thing automatically then it sets itself as default.

    Anyone not choosing to customize IE's install deserves to have it supplant their settings.

    • by owlstead (636356)

      "Anyone not choosing to customize IE's install deserves to have it supplant their settings."

      Why? This is an upgrade, not a new install. Personally I don't think it should change the settings from the previous browsers. Although I know that this is not the way most software behaves, it should be.

  • by PunditGuy (1073446) on Friday May 01, 2009 @08:19AM (#27785415)
    Just checked to make sure -- Firefox is still my default. No surreptitious shenanigans.

    Is this an XP thing? TFA didn't say which OS he was running.
  • FUD (Score:5, Informative)

    by Z_A_Commando (991404) on Friday May 01, 2009 @08:21AM (#27785425)

    I have several machines, all running several versions of Windows (XP & Vista in both 32- and 64-bit varieties) and I have not seen IE8 automagically installed through Windows Update on them. I have Windows Update set to automatically install updates without asking and the result is exactly what happens with IE7 when you get it off of Windows Update: An installer screen pops up asking if you'd like to install IE8 now, would like to wait, or don't want to install it at all, ever. All have updated to Office 2007 SP2, which was released to Windows Update the same day.

    However, I can't speak to what happens when you have IE6 installed on your XP machine and this update comes across the wire. I dropped IE6 over a year ago. Still, I doubt such an upgrade would be forced like this. Also, when I did choose to install IE8 on a machine that has Firefox as the default browser, after the restart, Firefox was still the default. This article is simply FUD. Furthermore, what's wrong with replacing a less standards compliant browser with a more standards compliant browser? Provided you don't change the default browser of course.

  • by GaryOlson (737642) <slashdot AT garyolson DOT org> on Friday May 01, 2009 @08:22AM (#27785429) Journal
    Service packs for Visual Studio are no longer available on our WSUS server for this reason [after some hard political battles and beating Security over the head with a clue bat]. Visual Studio service packs change all your file associations from non-VS applications to Visual Studio. The Computer Science 101 students' heads all exploded when foo.java opened in Visual Studio 2005 instead of Notepad++.

    Microsoft has a long history of forcibly breaking your operating environment.
    • by JasterBobaMereel (1102861) on Friday May 01, 2009 @08:59AM (#27785719)

      What do you mean "your" operating environment? Windows is theirs!

      • by dzfoo (772245)

        Actually, the applications, utilities and libraries may be theirs, but anything that is written into my own hard-disk, specifically pertaining to my own user preferences, is mine.

        Well, not mine really--I don't use Windows.

                -dZ.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by owlstead (636356)

      There's a reason why I hate Microsoft at times, and Visual Studio installs are definitely one of them. First it goes and update your entire system, restarts a couple of hundred times and then it messes up your file associations. And of course you can be assured additional fun if you work at a company that does not have internet connections on their development PC's.

      Compare that with an Eclipse inst^H^H^Hunzip.

      Anyway, the whole idea that a single source file should open in an IDE is flawed. Let IDE's open wo

      • VS is "tentacle software", just like Office. Whenever I can avoid installing either of them, I do.

        But you're right about the extent of the VS install absurdity. And if you add the WinSDK and a few other gems you're installing more software than the entire OS. Windows with VS installed along with its sibling add-ons is effectively a different version of the windows you initially installed.

        The funny thing is, that if the *only* MS software on your computer is the OS, then it's a pretty good OS (I'll get kille

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        I have installed Visual Studio 2008 twice in the past week - zero reboots needed each time, and the only file associations it monkeyed with was .cs. No network connection in either case here either.
  • I was actually "released" from the IE8 team for precisely my opposition to this action.

    The day I found out I no longer had to show up to Redmond, the sun was low in the sky and the light mist that always seems to hover over the Puget Sound area was turning into a cold drizzle. The drizzle would eventually become snow and we'd have two days straight of spring snow.

    I pulled my Fiat into the parking lot and was met by two of my teammates. They were waiting to warn me of the incoming news of which they had only

    • Gee, thanks. Now I am going to be morose all weekend.
    • When do we get to see the Michael Bay fire-and-explosions sequel where the One Man rappells down the office building, smashes the window to get in using auomatic fire, to retrieve the red stapler he left behind, showing them EXACTLY what he thought of the decision by putting a yellow post-it note on the manager's door (with URL link of slashdotter's opinions)?

      Excellent post, btw.

  • by HangingChad (677530) on Friday May 01, 2009 @08:23AM (#27785441) Homepage

    IE6 is a plague on the internet development world. If it gets rid of that, wonderful. Making it the default browser, that's classic Microsoft. Actually, that's the new, desperate to hang on to market share in the face of shrinking revenue Microsoft.

    • by mdielmann (514750)

      IE6 is a plague on the internet development world. If it gets rid of that, wonderful. Making it the default browser, that's classic Microsoft. Actually, that's the new, desperate to hang on to market share in the face of shrinking revenue Microsoft.

      My first thought when IE8 came out for all Windows versions was that MS was feeling the pinch from the other browsers, and wanted a chance to recapture some market share.

  • by GF678 (1453005) on Friday May 01, 2009 @08:28AM (#27785465)

    I'm yet another person who installed IE 8 via Windows Update and it did NOT forcibly set itself as the default browser.

    Seriously Slashdot, do you even bother to vet your troll articles anymore? Do you realize how embarrassingly pathetic this one significant site in the tech world has become?

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by OhPlz (168413)

      I try to think of Slashdot as a humor site. It helps.

      • by GF678 (1453005)
        Actually now that I think of it, you're right. It does help, but only a bit. :)
    • How much browsing is done through the "default browser" setting anyway? Maybe the occasional click of an email link. Surely most of the time, however, browsers are invoked directly by double-clicking the icon of your usual browser, rather than through invoking the Windows default browser setting. And most browsers have an automatic pop-up asking you if you want to set them as your default browser, with "yes" pre-checked (as well as "run this check every time"), so most non-techy users would very quickly
      • by owlstead (636356)

        How much browsing is done through the "default browser" setting anyway? Maybe the occasional click of an email link.

        Although I agree with most of your post, I would extend this to any link in any program, and there are a lot (on help pages, about boxes etc. etc.).

        But starting up your favorite browser and click "make default" again should indeed do the trick. Of course, if other browsers were nice about installs/updates, this popup should never ever have to occur, at all.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Rinnon (1474161)
        You are SIGNIFICANTLY overestimating the general public, leading me to believe you have never worked in a technical support call center. Remember how when you install Windows, it gives you an Icon at the top of the start menu that says "Internet" and then if your default changes, that icon changes? Surely, those of us in know laugh at this as a potential problem, but I can't count the number of people who claim they have "lost" their browser or (more commonly) they can't open Outlook, and instead Outlook Ex
  • Vista/IE8 bug (Score:4, Informative)

    by clickclickdrone (964164) on Friday May 01, 2009 @08:28AM (#27785469)
    I'm holding back installing it as there's still a bug (apparantly) that stops media sharing working with WMP11 when you install IE8 on Vista.
  • Have them drag the issue on in the EU. It may take a while but the sums are slightly over average in size.
  • FUD (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sherriw (794536) on Friday May 01, 2009 @08:38AM (#27785555)

    While I agree that making it default _without asking_ is a shady move on Microsoft's part, I'm sure what the payoff is for them versus the negative response many people will have. Those users who have a non-IE browser as default will notice the switch and will switch it back, these are the users who are actively choosing which browser to use anyway. The people who don't care what browser they are using, are probably already using IE. So what do they accomplish, other than reaffirming to the non-IE people the rightness of their choice?

  • by Assmasher (456699) on Friday May 01, 2009 @08:47AM (#27785627) Journal

    ...we know that most people (sadly) are using some version of IE currently; ergo, if they install IE8 and it makes itself the default, this is good for a variety of reasons entirely related to security (and good for the rest of us as the last thing I need is more zombies out there spamming me night and day.)

    Now, most people who have an alternative browser installed do so because they are 'aware' of the realities of modern web surfing and make an intelligent choice accordingly. These people are being inconvenienced by this because they've got to set their browser back to being the default (often this is simply a case, using Mozilla as an example, of starting up their favorite browser and it saying "Hey, don't you want to use me all the time" and they choose "yes, make yourself my default browser." Inconvenient, annoying, suspicious, yes - a real problem for these people? No...

    The last group are the (imho) very small minority of web users who've been lucky enough to have an informed web user install an IE alternative for them, but they themselves do not know what the fuss is about. These are the people actually getting screwed by this. They may end up with IE8 until their good Samaritan revisits them to right this terrible wrong.

    Ignoring whatever the actual motives for this decision at Micro$oft was, I personally think the good outweighs the bad. It would still be nice to smack the guy who green lighted this in the face though, wouldn't it? :)

  • Bollocks (Score:3, Insightful)

    by smoker2 (750216) on Friday May 01, 2009 @08:54AM (#27785663) Homepage Journal

    Now I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes in with word that the update not only does not ask, but it makes IE the default browser.

    When I looked at my XP box the other day, there was a bubble notifying me of available updates. I checked to see what it was and all there was was IE8. So I unchecked the box, told it never to ask again, and that was the end of that. So why the FUD ? Can't you even configure windows properly ? Please stay away from Linux.

  • Not a problem here (Score:4, Informative)

    by glennpratt (1230636) on Friday May 01, 2009 @08:54AM (#27785665) Homepage

    I just allowed a handful of computer at work to install the update. All of them asked before installing and none of them changed the default away from Firefox.

    Somebody needs to explain this.

  • Bullshit (Score:5, Informative)

    by Junior J. Junior III (192702) on Friday May 01, 2009 @09:03AM (#27785755) Homepage

    Yes, you can change it back, but it doesn't ask you if you want IE8 or if you want it as the default browser, it makes the decisions for you.

    This is not entirely true. When you install IE8, it asks you whether you'd like to do an Easy install or if you'd rather do a custom install. The Easy install does indeed set IE8 as the system's default browser, without asking. However, if you do the custom install, it does ask, and it honors what you tell the installer to do.

    Even if your default browser setting does get hijacked, the very next time you launch Firefox, it'll let you know it's not set as your default browser, and it's one click to change it back. Not a big deal at all, other than if you're running unattended installs on critical systems which require Firefox to be the default browser for some reason.

  • ...to be able to put their preferred browser back to the default browser because IE8 has forced itself in its place are probably too stupid to keep their virus checkers and anti-spyware software updated as well. Therefore the fact that IE8 is possibly less secure than Firefox, Opera, etc. is a moot point.

    I suggest those same people focus on getting a little less stupid and learning a bit more about their computers - by default Firefox will tell you if it's no longer the default browser (I don't use Opera or

  • FUD (Score:5, Informative)

    by wcb4 (75520) on Friday May 01, 2009 @09:10AM (#27785837)

    I allowed the install of IE8 on 2 of my personal machines yesterday. Both of the still have Firefox as the default browser. Vista and XP. Who is complaining that its switching their default browser? What's the setup?

  • It seems that Microsoft takes the heat for forcing its products to be the default browser/media player/whatever, but whenever I get an iTunes/QuickTime update, QuickTime doesn't give me the option of choosing whether or not it is the default media player and proceeds to take over my machine. Furthermore I, like many posters before me, was given the option during IE8's install process of whether or not I wanted it to be the default browser. Of course I do custom/manual Windows updates. Perhaps those who u
  • Because I downloaded & installed the update yesterday on my Vista laptop and it did ask, and honor my answer (no).

  • by thetoadwarrior (1268702) on Friday May 01, 2009 @09:42AM (#27786207) Homepage
    It did throw a chair at me when I said to leave me default as Firefox.
  • by bigbigbison (104532) on Friday May 01, 2009 @10:50AM (#27786973) Homepage
    I didn't experience any issues updating to IE8 but I did experience MS hijacking my firefox search and homepage when I installed their Live stuff.

    I restarted my computer after installing the latest updates including the Live stuff and when I restarted Firefox, the addons window popped up with something called "Microsoft Choice Guard." With a name like "choice guard" it sounded like spyware to me and I was basically right.

    It turns out that if you aren't paying attention MS will install this http://help.live.com/help.aspx?market=en-us&project=wlinstallerv3&querytype=keyword&query=draug_eciohc [live.com]

    This isn't going to win MS any friends...

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