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IE7 To Ship With Windows Patches Tomorrow [Not] 293

Posted by kdawson
from the ready-or-not dept.
An anonymous reader writes, "Microsoft plans to push out Internet Explorer 7 as a 'high priority update' when it ships security patches tomorrow, according to Washingtonpost.com's Security Fix blog. That means anyone who has Windows configured to download and install patches automagically from Redmond will be greeted with IE7 next time they boot up their machines. In related news, it appears IE's worldwide market share actually increased a couple of points since July, despite a number of high profile zero-day attacks this year." The article notes that the IE7 "containment wall" protected mode will not be available on XP, but only to those who purchase Vista.

Update: 10/09 21:26 GMT by kd : An anonymous reader points to this Microsoft blog posting where it is revealed that the article linked above is incorrect. IE7 will not be pushed tomorrow.
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IE7 To Ship With Windows Patches Tomorrow [Not]

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  • Thank God (Score:5, Funny)

    by Mateo_LeFou (859634) on Monday October 09, 2006 @01:32PM (#16366463) Homepage
    I've been looking forward to that whole tabbed-browsing thing they invented
    • by YA_Python_dev (885173) on Monday October 09, 2006 @01:37PM (#16366561) Journal
      So this is a good or bad news for the web developers (not end users) that want to create useable standards-compliant websites?
    • IE7 has the worst interface I've ever seen in a browser. Stop and refresh are over on the right side of the address bar, and a bunch of toolbar buttons are sitting below that on the right side of the tab bar, so you get less space for your tabs unless you run full screen, which I'm not going to do on a widescreen monitor (the proliferation of wide screen displays has made Windows' maximize feature obsolete and ridiculous).
  • by alta (1263) on Monday October 09, 2006 @01:35PM (#16366507) Homepage Journal
    The article has been updated because microsoft will not confirm "tomorrow" but will confirm this month.

    Tomorrow seems a likely time to me...
  • WGA? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Honest Olaf (1011253) on Monday October 09, 2006 @01:35PM (#16366511)
    Formerly IE7 was only available to folks who passed WGA, but Windows Update is available to all. Does this mean that IE7 will be distributed to users with non-genuine XP?
    • by Kelson (129150) *
      I would guess not. IIRC, only "critical" updates are available to systems that haven't passed WGA, and this is a "high priority" update. It looks like even the automatic update next month is only going to be semi-automatic [msdn.com] (it'll offer the download, but require user confirmation).
      • So if MS are pushing out IE to it's genuine customers, but won't let non-genuine advantage machines get the update, are they going to continue to put out security updates to IE6 - which in theory will only be used by non-genuine customers?

        I fear not, especially with Vista and it's uber anti-piracy coming along in the not to distant future. They need something to get people to see the upgrade as worthwhile.

        I personally think the days of being able to run a non-genuine key are over, it'll be near impossible s
        • by Kelson (129150) *

          are they going to continue to put out security updates to IE6

          Short answer: yes. Long answer: depends on what version of Windows you're using [msdn.com].

          Basically, as long as your version of Windows is supported, the version of IE that came with it will also be supported. Keep in mind that Microsoft considers service packs to be different "versions" for purposes of their lifecycle policy, and older SPs drop out of support before the newer ones do.

          So IE6 will get security patches as long as Windows 2000 SP4 and

  • Praise Allah! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Monday October 09, 2006 @01:36PM (#16366535) Homepage Journal
    Anything to get people away from IE6, with which we have to use stupid hacks that don't work reliably to get PNGs to display properly. Not to mention all the box model bullshit. Now maybe I'm just not using esoteric enough markup but every page I've designed for Firefox has worked right in IE7... so, BRING ON THE UPGRADE! IE6 is a sad joke from both the security and standards compliance points of view and Microsoft is doing the right thing.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by nine-times (778537)

      I'm wondering if it's really an improvement. Can't find them, but a while back there were complaints on /. that IE7 fixed enough things that IE6 hacks won't work anymore, but didn't fix the things that people had used the hacks to fix. I haven't seen this myself (I'm not doing web development these days), but supposedly the result of these "fixes" was that pages that displayed properly in IE6 and Firefox (and maybe other browsers) would not display properly in IE7. Therefore, web developers would have to

      • IE7 fixes enough stuff in its CSS handling that the old IE6 hacks don't work anymore. But it still has enough broken CSS stuff that a valid CSS layout with floats and clears in a containing DIV will wind up borked in IE7 even though it will work right in every modern browser (Firefox, Safari, Opera, Konqueror).

        So, essentially, IE7 isn't really a modern browser, it's a slightly hacked IE6 rendering engine with a prettied up interface (though "prettied" is certainly in the eye of the beholder... I, personall
    • by thelost (808451)
      It sounds great, but let's be realistic. What this means for web devs is having support IE 5.5,6 & now 7 too. People won't automatically migrate to 7 because they can. Even worse than that I've read far too much stuff about IE7 having very little extra support for CSS standards.
  • by Klaidas (981300)
    Well, I've been waiting for this - I mean, let's face it, about 80% of computer user use IE as their default browser. And since tomorrow, they are getting tabs, new GUI, features, features, more features security updates, etc...
    Even being a long-time Firefox user, I'm looking forward to test it (ya, I know, there were betas, there was a RC, but this is the stable one!)
  • Actually, 'Yay!' (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Odin_Tiger (585113) on Monday October 09, 2006 @01:37PM (#16366559) Journal
    Hopefully, it will be weird enough for users to call and ask about it, thus allowing me to weed out the few who are still using IE when they know they're supposed to be using Firefox.
  • no no no (Score:5, Informative)

    by jaiyen (821972) on Monday October 09, 2006 @01:39PM (#16366597)
    The RFTA references a post on the Microsoft IE blog that says IE7 is coming 'real soon now' and that it "will be delivered to customers via Automatic Updates a few weeks after it's available for download". How the submitter took that to mean it's going to be automatically for everyone from tomorrow is a mystery.
    • by Chapter80 (926879)
      From TFA:
      Update, 1:14 p.m. ET: The above post was changed to say IE7 would be released this month. Microsoft declined to confirm whether it would release IE tomorrow as part of its patch process, only to say that it planned the release sometime this month.

      I think it DID say tomorrow, and has since been updated.

    • by Kelson (129150) *
      On top of that, even after it does become available through automatic updates -- which will most likely be in the November patch cycle, given that it's "a few weeks after" the October release, you can block the update [msdn.com] (at least for now).
  • Containment Wall (Score:4, Interesting)

    by TubeSteak (669689) on Monday October 09, 2006 @01:40PM (#16366613) Journal
    However, one of IE 7's most useful security features, a protected mode -- billed as a "containment wall" to prevent the browser from installing software or changing computer settings without the user's consent -- will not be available for XP users. That feature will be reserved for users who upgrade to Windows Vista, the next version of the operating system, due in January.
    Is this "Containment Wall" something that can be hacked into working on XP?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by emarkp (67813)
      Yes, it's typically done by installing Firefox or Opera on XP. It's the proven solution that I use.
    • Article here http://msdn.microsoft.com/security/securecode/col u mns/default.aspx?pull=/library/en-us/dncode/html/s ecure11152004.asp [microsoft.com]

      So for example this is my shortcut to IE

      C:\DropMyRights\DropMyRights.exe "c:\program files\internet explorer\iexplore.exe" /c

      If you try to install something like Shockwave you get an error. Now I don't use IE much at all but if your in a situation where you have to use it and have to login as Admin this is a decent solution.
  • by arevos (659374) on Monday October 09, 2006 @01:40PM (#16366621) Homepage
    I was dreading the inevitable process of trying to get a new CSS design working in IE 6; but hopefully now I don't have to :)
    • by Per Wigren (5315)

      I was dreading the inevitable process of trying to get a new CSS design working in IE 6; but hopefully now I don't have to :)

      Actually, IE7 [edwards.name] is THE solution. Don't confuse it with Internet Explorer v7. IE7 is the best tool a modern web developer can have. It's a JavaScript library that automatically convert standards compliant modern CSS to IE 5+6 workarounds so you can code your pages using clean W3C-compliant CSS2+3 and XHTML and your pages will work fine in IE 6, IE 5.5 and even IE 5.0. It's magic!

      Here is [edwards.name]

      • by arevos (659374)
        Oho! That I have to try! Do you know if it allows for transparent PNGs referenced in the CSS background-image property?
        • by Per Wigren (5315)
          From the list:
          background-image | PNG alpha transparency (IE5.5+)

          Note that by default it only enables transparency on images ending with "-trans.png". You can change that by setting IE7_PNG_SUFFIX to something else before loading IE7, like IE7_PNG_SUFFIX = ".png"; to enable transparency for all .png images (can be slow if you have lots of them).
    • by Kelson (129150) *

      I was dreading the inevitable process of trying to get a new CSS design working in IE 6; but hopefully now I don't have to :)

      Ah, if only!

      Even with Microsoft pushing it out via automatic updates next month, I expect it will take at least a year before IE6's marketshare declines to the point where we can ignore it.

      Consider:

      • People who don't update (and don't have automatic updates set up).
      • People who are still on Windows XP Service pack 1
      • People who are still on Windows 2000 (still common in business)
    • by misleb (129952)
      Sadly, there are still quite a number of people still running Windows older than XP which will never run IE7. I don't have the figures handly, but I imagine it is somewhere around 30%. So unless you want to alienate a good chunk of users, you'll have to continue supporting IE6 (and maybe even IE5.5) for several years to come.

      -matthew

  • Please RTFA before posting: "According to a post on the company's IE blog, that high-priority update could be IE7"
  • by jorghis (1000092) on Monday October 09, 2006 @01:42PM (#16366657)
    If want to prevent the automatic install MS has a page for you here: http://www.microsoft.com/technet/updatemanagement/ windowsupdate/ie7announcement.mspx [microsoft.com]

    It looks like you have the option to just click "no thanks" when it asks you if you want to upgrade to IE7.
  • How nice. It's like I come and replace your old rusty garage door with a brand new one, with all the bells and whistles, some heavy armor and even an electronic keypad to open it. However, I will not allow you to change the password to open the door from the factory default "1234". Unless you pay me, that is.
  • by DigitlDud (443365) on Monday October 09, 2006 @01:44PM (#16366691)
    The blog post the article is referring to says it will be pushed out via Automatic Updates a FEW WEEKS after it's available for download. And it's not available for download yet. Somehow I doubt they ment tomorrow.
  • For a Firefox user such as myself, can someone give me a link or explanation of the pro's and con's of putting IE7 on my XP box? Browsing experience doesn't factor in, so are there other factors to consider?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      explanation of the pro's and con's of putting IE7 on my XP box?

      Sure:

      - Pros: you get the latest Microsoft software that hopefully *fixes* the previous version
      - Cons: you get the latest Microsoft software that *hopefully* fixes the previous version
  • I recently started using CSS for the first time. I went right from the spec. The HTML and CSS validated strict. It looked great in Firefox. Then I tested it with IE6, and started to cry. I spent more hours trying to hack my way around the bugs in IE6's rendering than I spent making the page design in the first place.

    With this news, though, I can go back to writing real CSS! This will save me so much time! The only people who won't be able to see my page properly are people who don't maintain their machines
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by pe1chl (90186)
      not too quick... the CSS support in IE7 still sucks badly when compared with competing browsers.
      sure it is better than IE6, but don't assume your valid CSS will work OK in IE7, it probably will not.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      With this news, though, I can go back to writing real CSS! This will save me so much time!

      No, it won't. IE7 doesn't improve CSS support that much. Yes, they fixed it a bit, but it's mostly the same.

      IE7 = tabs + new UI

      What I don't understand is why it took them so much time to release this crap. I guess that because IE is tied into XP and so many things depend on it they spent most of the time trying to track down regressions from crappy 3rd progarms
    • IE7 won't run on Win2K, AFAIK, no matter how well it's patched. That's a lot of corporate machines being left out.
    • by plopez (54068)
      as a scarred veteren of the 90's browser wars, I feel for you. It took me several years to get the twitching under control.

      Oh, and check your hacks again. Odds are you will have to roll out the IE6 hacks and replace them with IE7 hacks. A site that renders will in IE6 will probably not work under IE7 now.

      Like I said, I feel for you.
  • by ezratrumpet (937206) on Monday October 09, 2006 @01:47PM (#16366753) Journal
    ...will be to those people who have no idea when they start their machines that they must endure a lengthy install and restart process before they can get to work.
  • by The Real Nem (793299) on Monday October 09, 2006 @01:56PM (#16366899) Homepage

    I'm sure IE7 is a positive step from IE6, but how big of a resource hog is that shinny new interface? When I updated to Windows Messenger Live (yes I'm aware of the alternatives, but 99% of my friends use it) I couldn't believe how much resources the thing ate up. Right now it's sitting at a ridiculous 48 MB of memory usage.

    More to the point, how much of IE7 is integrated into the kernel and how much memory does it consume when I'm not even using it? How does it affect boot times? I'm unlikely to use it for anything I don't have to so I think I'll be avoiding it for as long as possible.

    • On my system, Task Manager reports that the two executables for IE7 (iexplore.exe and iuser.exe) are taking up about 10MB of memory total. By contrast FireFox is taking about 20MB. Both are freash instances of the browser sitting at the main google page. Of course, I have a bunch of extensions installed for FF along with all of my bookmarks, so it is probably a bit high.
      Of course, this is running on Vista RC1 so, YMMV.
      In all, if the security of IE7 is even half as good as MS is claiming, I'll be happy.
  • Following the push of IE7 on Patch Tuesday, new IE7 exploits will be deployed on Exploit Wednesday. Coming soon to a computer near you.

  • IE7 will come with the WGA checks, and we know more than half of those 8x% that have IE6 now don't have legit Windows. They will not get IE7, even if they want it (of course, a small minority of them wil crack it).

    Unless they go on a crackfest, all of them, we can expect steady 50% or more of IE6 for the next few years. Pitty, but remember IE5.0 guys! IE6 is bearable in my humble opinion (I'm a web dev).

    The couple of points where IE's adoption increased: we have over a million people (half a million only of
  • When it comes to switching browsers, I really only care when I see value. In general, I stick with what works until (a) it breaks or (b) the positive value of switching is significant.

    For each person, the significantly higher will be different. Extremely minor updates are enough for those folks that want the latest and greatest. For others, it takes a crazy value propostion to be enough for a switch. Obviously this kind of thinking can be mapped to an innovation adoption curve [wikipedia.org].

    I'll wait. My browser isn't b
    • by DoorFrame (22108)
      I switched to Firefox for adblock, which has made web surfing a considerably better experience for me.
  • by mgpeter (132079) on Monday October 09, 2006 @02:25PM (#16367347) Homepage

    This is for all the Network Admins for Windows Networks.

    If you do not want Automatic Updates to Install IE7 when it is released then just set the following registry key on every workstation:

    Registry key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Setup\7.0
    Key value name: DoNotAllowIE70

    * When the key value name is not defined, distribution is not blocked.
    * When the key value name is set to 0, distribution is not blocked.
    * When the key value name is set to 1, distribution is blocked.

    NOTE: This is highly recommended as everytime I dealt with any Major release from Microsoft things started getting trashed. Microsoft should NOT Automatically deploy this in this way.

    For lazy/Proficient Admins here is a Kixtart Script to do this on a list of computers over the network: NoAutoIE7.txt [pcc-services.com]

  • Why so cagey? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by LordSnooty (853791) on Monday October 09, 2006 @02:26PM (#16367359)
    I've spent the day co-ordinating my department's response to the auto-install of IE7, since several of our apps are incompatible. We've had to block it with the reg key. But why are they so cagey about the actual release date? "This month" isn't good enough, I need a precise date if I'm to avoid a phalanx of users unable to use business-critical web sites. What can be so hard about it? Have they not set a date themselves? If not, why say "this month"? They bang on in their blog about how we ought to be ready, and here's a load of tools to help you, but we won't give you the exact date, that would ruin the game, right?
    • by Kelson (129150) *
      My guess: They don't want to see headlines saying "IE7 delayed again!" if they find some last-minute problem.

      As for the deluge of incompatible users, keep in mind that the summary is incorrect, and it's not going to be an automatic update until next month (the exact wording is "a few weeks after it's available for download"). So that should limit the initial problems to early adopters.

      Incidentally, IE7 RC1 has been out since August. I trust you've been working on updating your apps for the last six weeks,
      • I trust you've been working on updating your apps for the last six weeks, and just need time to finish?
        Actually it's the vendor at fault, so what can you do? We only support it.
        • by Kelson (129150) *
          Actually it's the vendor at fault, so what can you do? We only support it.

          Sorry to hear it. Good luck with the damage control (and, more importantly, convincing the vendor to fix their product!)

  • This morning I loaded Firefox 1.5.something on my Windows XP laptop, entered cnn.com for news. 10 minutes later Firefox was chewing up 65MB of memory and causing my laptop to drag.

    I'm thrilled to get tabs on a browser that doesn't have a memory leak.
    • by bunratty (545641)
      65 MB of memory usage is normal for a browser. I tried Opera 9 when it first came out, and it was using over 100 MB on the first day. I wouldn't consider either browser a "memory hog".
  • Probably a few days after IE7 comes out we'll have "new and improved" websites that only work on IE7.
  • Guess I'd better get started testing it for compatibility with my web application.
  • by Toreo asesino (951231) on Monday October 09, 2006 @02:43PM (#16367637) Journal
    Bearing in mind for the majority of users, when presented with a question - they'll just click "yes" to make it go away, I suspect this is a very under-hand tactic to render non-IE browsers as non-default.

    Think about it - a message will pop-up saying "Want to upgrade to the new shiny IE? (y/n)"....one restart later, and the next question will be "Want to make it your default browser? (y/n)".....and just like that, poor Firefox/Opera is sat there collecting dust.

    It's funny; I have a good friend working in Microsoft. Apparently, Microsoft aren't worried about Windows being pushed to the side, nor Office, nor any of the "paid" stuff....it's IE and WMP that's getting Microsoft hot under the collar right now. I believe it's starting to show.
  • The article notes that the IE7 "containment wall" protected mode will not be available on XP, but only to those who purchase Vista.
    In other words, "No one will have the containment wall?"

  • by SpryGuy (206254) on Monday October 09, 2006 @04:25PM (#16369321)
    I have not once been able to get IE7 to launch a windows media player file (audio MP3 or video WMV) successfully. It launches the Media Player as expected, which then hangs consuming tons of CPU forever, until you actively kill it with Task Manager.

    The suggested work-around of disabling the anti-phishing filter doesn't work (and isn't acceptable anyway).

    LOTS of people are experiencing this problem. I can't believe they're pushing it out with this serious of an issue. I've provided them logs and such, but they only got them last Thursday, so I doubt there's been any fix (hell, I doubt they've even looked at them yet).

    It's completely irresponsible to be pushing it out. Looking at the list of outstanding "large" bugs, and knowing the problems I myself have had with it, it's not yet ready for primetime.

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