In a surprise move, Microsoft has issued a new build of
Internet Explorer 7 (IE7) to customers that can be installed on any machine
running Windows XP or Windows Server 2003 -- IE7 is already included in Windows
Vista operating systems.
IE7 was previously reserved for customers using genuine
copies of Windows-based operating systems and was protected by Microsoft's
Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) validation software.
"Because Microsoft takes its commitment to help protect
the entire Windows ecosystem seriously, we’re updating the IE7 installation
experience to make it available as broadly as possible to all Windows
users," remarked IE7 program manager Steve Reynolds on the IE
Blog. "With today’s 'Installation and Availability Update,'
Internet Explorer 7 installation will no longer require Windows Genuine
Advantage validation and will be available to all Windows XP users."
Microsoft is likely using this move to makes IE7 available
to the broadest range of customers worldwide. Mozilla's Firefox browser has gained a lot of
traction recently, and this move would give Microsoft some additional
In addition to the removal of WGA, the latest version of IE7
brings updates to the menu bar, online tour and a new MSI installer for IT
quote: The best security improvement over IE6 is to simply not use it anyways.
quote: Actually, the best security improvement is to stop running your browsers, ANY browsers, with Admin-level privileges.
quote: Speaking as someone who does a bit of security research ;) I suggest getting IE7 even if you don't plan to use it yourself. Also vet your rig for security vulnerabilities using Secunia's Personal Software Inspector:
quote: And just because you execute a process using a non-privileged account, doesn't mean that it can't do a lot of damage with files that it can access (say your pictures, your documents, your music, etc).
quote: Seriously though, please don't try and diffuse the fact that MSIE is a bloated browser (IE7 in particular, even though it works much better with higher amounts of resident memory than IE6), and it doesn't really any additional functionality with all its bloat.
quote: Or just run a Unix-based OS because if you don't run as root, you get the same thing, and you don't have to worry about annoying Vista features like UAC ;).
quote: I've worked as a software and electrical engineer and manager for many years - and I can tell you that most standards aren't worth the paper they're printed on.
quote: I'm not saying this is the best approach in all cases, but it is rather effective in many areas, including the web.