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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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RE: I guess MS is afraid of...
By Jack Ripoff on 10/6/2007 2:05:10 PM , Rating: 2
Why have I been downrated? What I said is true!

Their web browser (specially previous versions of it) implemented undocumented deviations from global standards which forced web developers to tweak their pages in order to make them compatible with it - which in turn rendered those pages nearly unusable on other web browsers.

All their products are riddled with undocumented "features", programming interfaces, document formats and network protocols which make them uninteroperable with competing products.

http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1895,2178222,00.as...
http://www.vanwensveen.nl/rants/microsoft/IhateMS_...
http://www.catb.org/~esr/halloween/halloween1.html


RE: I guess MS is afraid of...
By yaneurabeya on 10/6/2007 2:39:19 PM , Rating: 2
Jack is very correct in this regard.

MSIE still is the number one loser in several arenas in terms of complying with W3 standards.


RE: I guess MS is afraid of...
By TomZ on 10/7/2007 9:51:41 AM , Rating: 2
The reason you got downrates is that you assume that a paper standard is always more important than a de facto standard.

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. Most written standards are ambigious and leave so much open for interpretation that the result is a set of products that are loosely "standardized" but have a large number of compatibility problems. You see this in nearly every industry, including the web.

If a particular product has most of the market share, it is usually far more efficient to use that product's implementation as a de-facto standard, rather than writing a separate paper standard. The de-facto standard has been "reality tested" since it is in a product already, plus it has evolved in order to meet the requirements of the domain. Furthermore, someone writing another conforming application can simply test theirs against the original, which eliminates any question about compatibility.

I'm not saying this is the best approach in all cases, but it is rather effective in many areas, including the web.


RE: I guess MS is afraid of...
By Jack Ripoff on 10/7/2007 8:38:41 PM , Rating: 1
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.

It's not about being a paper standard or even a quality standard. It's about being an open, documented and interoperable standard.

Let's take Java and MSOOXML as examples. Java isn't a paper standard. It's owned by Sun Microsystems. It is, however, multiplatform and can be reimplemented by anyone since it's documented and not dependent on any platform-specific behavior or feature by-design. It runs on mainframes as well as mobile phones. Microsoft's OpenXML, on the other hand, is an ECMA standard, but it relies on behaviors specific to Microsoft Office, references other undocumented and proprietary Microsoft standards (e.g.: WMF) and is generally inconsistent and difficult to implement on a non-Microsoft platform.

quote:
I'm not saying this is the best approach in all cases, but it is rather effective in many areas, including the web.

Actually you're saying effectiveness is more important than interoperability.


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