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Microsoft makes its IE7 browser available to a wider audience

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 ammunition.

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 administrators.

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"protect the windows ecosystem"
By computerslayer1 on 10/5/2007 10:42:54 PM , Rating: 3
"Because Microsoft takes its commitment to help protect the entire Windows ecosystem seriously..."

What about AutoPatcher? I know people refused windows updates before that came around and will refuse them now that it's been taken away.

RE: "protect the windows ecosystem"
By Rebel44 on 10/6/2007 9:46:35 AM , Rating: 1
Only people I know that wont use automatic update are those with pirated windows so its their problem.....

By computerslayer1 on 10/6/2007 11:56:12 AM , Rating: 3
Those kinds of people are in the minority.

The people I know have legit OEM installations and refuse windows update by choice for several reasons. If you're familiar with autopatcher at all, you'll be familiar with those reasons as well.

RE: "protect the windows ecosystem"
By yaneurabeya on 10/6/2007 2:37:01 PM , Rating: 2
Only people I know that wont use automatic update are those with pirated windows so its their problem.....

Incorrect. That may be a part of the people that don't want it, but I personally don't like running Windows with Automatic Updates because I want to choose when my machine reboots or not.

Domain owners don't use Automatic Updates a lot either, because they push updates out to machines in an automated way, instead of having the machines check all the time with the MS util.

Many people don't like the mysterious algorithm behind Automatic Updates too and choose not to subscribe to not knowing when an update will happen.

RE: "protect the windows ecosystem"
By JeffDM on 10/7/2007 4:23:34 PM , Rating: 2
I see and I agree. I was using Windows in an HTPC and when it had automatic updates on, it would mysteriously reboot on occasion maybe ten minutes after I turned the computer on. It didn't even warn me, so I thought there was some gremlin. That was very annoying, when the computer was perfectly stable. When I stepped down the setting, I also didn't like it when I'd get a window popping up every five minutes asking me if I want to reboot when I'm trying to get something done.

By mechBgon on 10/6/2007 10:09:32 PM , Rating: 2
If your pals liked AutoPatcher, they can actually generate their own AutoPatcher. Further info:

The large majority of PC owners don't even know what AutoPatcher is/was, so I don't think it's realistic to claim that it was contributing much to the security of the world's Windows fleet as a whole. People who aren't comfortable using Automatic Updates or the Windows Update site do have other options for updating their systems, as I mention in the thread linked above, and they should use those options if system security is important to them.

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