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IE7 to be Pushed to Users Via Windows Update 608

dfrick writes "CNET is reporting that IE7 will be pushed to users via Windows Update. This has serious implications for e-commerce websites whose functionality might be affected by any bugs in the software. Also to have end users suddenly using a new browser right before the holiday shopping season could magnify the cost any bugs that might create a bad user experience on sites."
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IE7 to be Pushed to Users Via Windows Update

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  • by WinEveryGame ( 978424 ) * on Wednesday July 26, 2006 @10:58PM (#15788559) Homepage
    Well we just celebrated the Get Firefox day. Perhaps the day IE7 gets pushed via Windows update would be yet another Get Firefox day.
  • Force-Feeding (Score:5, Informative)

    by (1+-sqrt(5))*(2**-1) ( 868173 ) <1.61803phi@gmail.com> on Wednesday July 26, 2006 @10:58PM (#15788561) Homepage
    From TFA:
    Automatic Updates will first notify people when IE 7 is ready to install and then show a welcome screen that presents key features and the choices to install, not install or postpone installation.
    It appears, therefore, that they haven't yet resorted to force-feeding; and until security chief Stephen Toulouse eats his dogfood [theinquirer.net], moreover, force-feeding would be unconscionable.
  • My favourite quote: (Score:5, Informative)

    by tomhudson ( 43916 ) <barbara...hudson@@@barbara-hudson...com> on Wednesday July 26, 2006 @10:59PM (#15788564) Journal

    My favorite quote FTA: "It will be available from Microsoft's Download Center Web site, Schare said. "We're really trying to get the world ready for a major new browser release."

    Sorry, I already got my "major new browser release" about the time Microsoft were claiming "nobody needs tabbed browsing." IE7 is too little, too late, even for the poor unfortunates I know who are still stuck running Windows.

    • by cloricus ( 691063 ) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @12:15AM (#15788899)
      Excuse my French but I hope Microsoft fucking die for this one... This is just fucks up my xmas holidays completely.

      I manage around twenty websites for businesses around my state for some spare pocket money each month and all of them are xhtml1.1/css2 compliant (w3c) with a large hacks section for each to get them to work in ie6 (and in the case of one ie5 through 6) and instead of a nice easy integration with Vista coming with ie7 out of the box and a steady stream to xp users I'm being told it will all come in one hit in less than six months? Fuck that. Maybe M$ (and the general web community) has forgotten why we, the web developers, pushed so hard for Firefox in the first place - it wasn't fancy tabs, it wasn't speed, it wasn't popup block...it was the fact that they gave a damn about web standards - and they expect us to learn all of the quirks for ie7 and hack up our sites for them while it's still in beta but that's just not going to happen for many of us.

      Though that isn't what really scares me, what scares me is none of the company's I have done websites for and also maintain for will understand the implication of the sites needing recoded until customers start complaining. I can put that number, personally, to about thirty five businesses phoning up and complaining that their sites don't work which will a) not be their fault and b) be my fault for selling them a broken site which leads to two problems 1) they wont want to pay for the update and 2) I lose my god damn holiday or I lose my reputation if I tell them to stuff off. Worse still is that many of these are reasonably large sites so fixing and testing them all in that time frame is just going to hurt.

      So I'm pissed. Vista, DRM, selling out free speech in china, what ever ... Enforcing IE7 on the whole Windows population at once - outright mean. Die Microsoft Deployment and Marketing division, die like my karma is about too.
      • by vdboor ( 827057 ) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @05:11AM (#15789630) Homepage

        Well the good news is, they fixed most CSS2.1 bugs in IE7. They killed almost every bug mentioned at positioniseverything.net [positioniseverything.net]. They also added support for CSS2 selectors.

        The bad news is they didn't add ":after" support..
        If you used this to clear floats without structural markup [positioniseverything.net], you need to find another way.

        And worth mentioning:

        • the new bugfixes are not applied in quirks-mode. Shouldn't be a problem, quirks mode is ment for backwards compatibility anyways.
        • most of my pages rendered exactly like Firefox and Safari already did. In fact, if I left a "bug" there because it was only visible in Safari, it will likely be visible in IE7 too due their better support for standards.
        • If you coded your pages for standards, and only used "* html" for IE5/6, most pages still look fine in IE7
        • they removed the "* html" bug because it broke web sites since they also support of the child-selector (html>body) in IE7.
          Note that pages render fine now without this hack!
        • they appear to have left a new hack, *>html, but they recommend conditional-comments [microsoft.com] instead
    • Just as I am reading this, I have my new browser delivered [mozilla.com] as well.
  • Developers (Score:3, Insightful)

    by edflyerssn007 ( 897318 ) <ej DOT lennon AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday July 26, 2006 @11:00PM (#15788569) Homepage
    Maybe it is possible that developers could start developing now for IE7 using the beta's so that when it does get pushed out to everyone there is a minimal amount of bugs in the programming on websites. Just some food for thought.

    • Re:Developers (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Nataku564 ( 668188 ) on Wednesday July 26, 2006 @11:11PM (#15788628)
      That, or just stick some javascript in there telling IE7 users that they aren't using a supported browser :)
  • Halo 2 (Score:5, Funny)

    by aersixb9 ( 267695 ) on Wednesday July 26, 2006 @11:01PM (#15788573)
    Could they push a copy of Halo 2 and Crimson skies via Windows Update while they're at it?
  • Bugs? (Score:5, Informative)

    by The MAZZTer ( 911996 ) <megazzt@NoSPam.gmail.com> on Wednesday July 26, 2006 @11:03PM (#15788587) Homepage

    I've fiddled around with beta 3 for a bit, it's just as stable as IE6 is (even moreso, if you can believe that). I think this summary was written by someone scared of "beta" software.

    As for breaking webpages, big deal. IE6 has been breaking webpages for years. Now at least the web designers who built pages for the IE6 "standard" instead of the STANDARD standards will taste a bit of our pain.

    Only IE7 bug I noticed is that IE7 REFUSES to remove borders on iframes (or maybe it's the body tag inside the iframe). Using CSS or deprecated HTML attributes have no effect. IE6 does not have this problem.

  • by DuranDuran ( 252246 ) on Wednesday July 26, 2006 @11:03PM (#15788589)
    This would be a problem if users could not select which updates to install and which to ignore. DuranDuran, for instance, has been without the Microsoft Malicious Software tool since it was first released.

    He has also been referring to himself in the third person since earlier this morning.
  • by Dark Coder ( 66759 ) on Wednesday July 26, 2006 @11:04PM (#15788597)
    Push it all out...
    These are things that they've been waiting for
    Come on ...
    It's updating your PCs
    Come on ...


    In monopolistic times
    You shouldn't have to ruin your PC
    In blue and white
    They really really ought to know
    Those one track minds
    That took you for a working end-user
    Kiss them goodbye
    You shouldn't have to jump for joy
    You shouldn't have to

    [choirs 2X]

    They gave you Windows
    And in return
    you gave them them hell
    As cold as ice
    I hope we live to
    tell the tale
    I hope we live to

    [choirs 2X]
    [choirs 2X]

    And when you've taken down your guard
    If they could change your mind
    Hackers really love to BSOD your PC
    Hackers really love to

    [choirs 2X]


    [choirs 2X]
  • They will push it. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DeathKoil ( 413307 ) on Wednesday July 26, 2006 @11:08PM (#15788608)
    Yeah... I actually thought they might do something like this... and in true M$ style they will mark it as a "critical update" because of all of the flaws in IE.

    Okay... on a more serious note, I actually (don't flame me) like Windows XP. It is incredibly stable on my PC. But it is Microsoft style to push their products onto users my force. So my bets are on MS putting this out as a critical security updates.

    I'll give 2 to 1 odds. Who's placing a bet??
    • by gbjbaanb ( 229885 )
      From the article:

      "IE 7 will be delivered in the fourth quarter as a "high priority" update via Automatic Updates in Windows XP"

      not a critical one at all. Also, apparently it will pop up a dialog instead telling the user how great IE7 is and asking if they want to install it. Of course people will, as we all blindly upgrade to the latest version all the time without thinking.
  • Good... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 26, 2006 @11:13PM (#15788636)
    "Also to have end users suddenly using a new browser right before the holiday shopping season could magnify the cost any bugs that might create a bad user experience on sites"

    I for one welcome this. IE6 sucks. Badly.

    IE7 has a few problems, but the faster IE6 dies, the better.

    This and as a web developer, I hope the bugs associated with pushing this app out will create a bad user experience and force developers that rely on hacks and nonstandard practices to get screwed over. I've had several sites I use not work with IE7 and the simplest has been because their simple javascript that detects IE versions tells me I need to use IE5.5 or greater. I've had others not work with the activeX controls because of new security models (or so I imagine).

    The sooner developers move towards standards the better. IE7 is a good push towards this goal, and having it pushed out buggy and forcing developers to address the idiotic IE Only Features is just another milestone on this route.
    • Re:Good... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by mh101 ( 620659 ) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @01:02AM (#15789051)
      I've had several sites I use not work with IE7 and the simplest has been because their simple javascript that detects IE versions tells me I need to use IE5.5 or greater.
      Or a similar story - the "Online Business Center" portion of the Canada Post web site won't let me into the online store area for ordering supplies because I need Internet Explorer, or Netscape >6.0. I'm using Firefox 1.5.x. Obviously they're just checking for specific browsers, and not seeing if you have the features they need (128-bit encryption, cookies and Javascript enabled).

    • Re:Good... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Jeffrey Baker ( 6191 )
      IE7 is not a "good push" towards web standards because web standards do not exist at all inside the Microsoft development organization. Mozilla strives to comply with published standards, and with each revision it approaches that goal. Internet Explorer is developed with the goal of steering revenue toward Microsoft, possibly in strange and unpredictable ways. Developers can try to code to standards and just cross their fingers hoping that IE7/8/9 start to converge with the standards, but that situation
  • by i_want_you_to_throw_ ( 559379 ) on Wednesday July 26, 2006 @11:16PM (#15788652) Journal
    This has serious implications for e-commerce websites whose functionality might be affected by any bugs in the software.

    Seriously? Microsoft software can be buggy?
  • by loraksus ( 171574 ) on Wednesday July 26, 2006 @11:17PM (#15788665) Homepage
    Who will download a browser in the background that is larger than sp2 for xp.
    (no, it probably won't be _that _ big)
    (ie 6 _was_ 75 or so.. yay for bloat)
  • by Will2k_is_here ( 675262 ) on Wednesday July 26, 2006 @11:18PM (#15788666)
    Get your quick 'n easy version of IE7 straight from the main website: www.ie7.com [ie7.com]
  • by jaronc ( 68205 ) on Wednesday July 26, 2006 @11:21PM (#15788685)
    Maybe I'm missing something, but I'm not sure I understand the doom and gloom of the post? It is an update afterall. And a lot of what I've read online has been positive towards 7 over 6. On top of that, the article pushes that you don't have to install it if you don't want to.

    As for the ecommerce sites being broken, it's not like they haven't had time to check to make sure their sites work in the new version. When the first beta came out, even I checked to see if there were any problems with my sites. I didn't fix them straight away, but I made sure to note down where the issues were for later repair.
    • This is standard MS practice of mixing in the poison with the medicine. You weren't "required" to install SP2 either, but was pretty much impossible to avoid.

      Now I appreciate security improvements more than most, even in MS software. However, no one ever remembers the things that SP2 broke. Trust me--in order to use any software six months from now, IE7 will be required, so this whole "it's an option" thing is specious in the extreme.

      That said, if it can usher in a new world of working CSS and consistent
  • How Ironic (Score:5, Informative)

    by ben there... ( 946946 ) on Wednesday July 26, 2006 @11:22PM (#15788695) Journal
    Firefox has just completed downloading an important update and must be restarted so that the update can be installed. Update: Firefox

    Ironic that I received that message as I was reading this story, and about to post that automatic update will only download IE7, but will give the users a choice of whether or not to install it. Kind of like the message I just received for Firefox.

    Bandwidth is really the only issue with this release method, but not so much for a single user. Businesses who would be affected by the download can install the IE7 Update Blocker Toolkit to prevent even the download.

    This really isn't that big of a deal.
  • Makes sense (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Schraegstrichpunkt ( 931443 ) on Wednesday July 26, 2006 @11:27PM (#15788725) Homepage

    It makes sense. IE6 is obviously a critical security vulnerability, and apparently it can't be fixed without IE7 (I doubt IE7 will actually "fix" the problem, but it'd be pretty hard to make the situation any worse at this point).

    The sooner *any* versions of MSIE go away (even if they're only replaced with new versions), the better, IMHO.

  • What is the issue? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Jessta ( 666101 ) on Wednesday July 26, 2006 @11:56PM (#15788834) Homepage
    What is the issue?
    If sites are not using W3C standards for development then they should know that they can't expect compatibility with browser updates.
    Blame the web developers.
    An update to Internet Explorer is critical for security reasons and shouldn't be delayed because some developers are idiots.
    The same issue occured with XP SP2. Idiot developers using non-standard APIs had issues in their software.

  • by RickBauls ( 944510 ) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @12:11AM (#15788883)
    to get the new update, simply remove this:
    msi http://microsoft.com/xp [microsoft.com] ie6 main

    and replace it with this:
    msi http://microsoft.com/xp [microsoft.com] ie7 main

    in your c:/etc/apt/sources.list file. then do:
    apt-get update
    apt-get upgrade
  • No Worries (Score:4, Funny)

    by chrpai ( 806494 ) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @12:12AM (#15788887) Homepage
    I finally found out something I like about WGA! It'll protect everyone with pirated Windows from getting IE7 shoved down their throat!!
  • by flimflammer ( 956759 ) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @12:16AM (#15788902)
    I really don't see the problem in this. IE7 is better than IE6 in many ways, including security and features. You'd think people would want IE6 to just dissapear.

    I suppose it's that bias against Microsoft in general that makes this a bad thing.
  • by derfla8 ( 195731 ) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @12:22AM (#15788923)
    Hello All,

        Calm down. It is easy to succumb to media hype and not look deeper. But if you do, you'll find that administrators have options available to them and so do users.

    1) IE7 Blocker Toolkit - non-expiring toolkit will assist admistrators through Group Policy or script to set registry to prevent automatic update to IE7:
    http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?Fa milyId=4516A6F7-5D44-482B-9DBD-869B4A90159C&displa ylang=en [microsoft.com]

    2) Admins who have Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) deployed already has control over what is pushed to the corporate desktop

    3) Users individually have the ability to decline the install

    I have also heard that users can uninstall IE7 from add/remove programs, this will revert the user back to IE6.

  • Thank you (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Hellasboy ( 120979 ) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @12:33AM (#15788954)
    First, I'd like to thank Microsoft for forcing this update. I'm not being sarcastic in the least. They acknowledge that IE6 is full of security holes and the best thing for the end-user is IE7. IE7 beta runs better than IE6 (at least for me).

    The three biggest generalized statements I've read so far involve functionality, it's an abuse of a monopoly, and get firefox.

    IE7 runs better than IE6. The only sites that would be affected would be those sites that resort to explicitly stating that they only run in IE6 and those sites can fix that problem very, very easily. This leads directly into firefox.

    ["Get Firefox"]
    How many sites have you used that don't work in firefox? Let's call those number of sites, X. It's a pretty logical assumption that internet explorer's replacement would have a higher probability of working with IE6 sites than firefox. It would be logical to say that ie's X value is less than firefox's X.

    [Abuse of a monopoly]
    Come on! Why is it that when Microsoft tries to fix a problem with an upgrade that they the monopoly arguement comes along? Someone else brought up the example of how tightly integrated Safari is in OSX. But if Microsoft wants to reduce the number of unsecured machines; it's a monopolistic move. Sometimes it seems that if MS ever released a free "Office lite" to compete with a product like iLife that we would have people screaming bloody murder. Wordpad is not acceptable. And for those saying that they went through a lot of trouble of uninstalling IE6 and being forced to upgrade to IE7. IE6 was uninstalled, how would it upgrade an uninstalled component? And then install itself, activate itself, and make it the default? All without any input.

    The only thing I see wrong with this is the burden it would put on dial-up users. But this is microsoft so I would expect them to at least offer to purchase a cd containing the update. Or having the CD option with SP3 and making it mandatory then.
    • Re:Thank you (Score:3, Insightful)

      by cca93014 ( 466820 )

      The only sites that would be affected would be those sites that resort to explicitly stating that they only run in IE6 and those sites can fix that problem very, very easily. This leads directly into firefox.

      This is simply not true. Pretty much EVERY site built these days using XHTML 1.1 and CSS2 has to include hacks for IE6. That's the long and short of web development these days. A number of these hacks are going to break in IE7, and that means a HUGE number of sites are going to have to be tweaked to ru

  • by KU_Fletch ( 678324 ) <<bthomas1> <at> <ku.edu>> on Thursday July 27, 2006 @12:42AM (#15788981)
    If you go through that article, you'll see that Microsoft is already putting out a tool to prevent the automatic update to IE7. I thought it would be a good idea to install this seeing as I have no desire to have Microsoft pump IE7 onto my computer when it is for the most part untested and most likely full of security holes that have yet to be found. So I was thinking Microsoft was actually being very nice to consumers to let us have the option of turning the download off ahead of time. Buuuuuuuuuuut.....

    As it turns out Microsoft isn't that benevolent. You run smack dab into a check to see whether or not you've installed Windows Genuine Advantage. I haven't. My copy of XP is perfectly legal and has never touched another computer. But I still am not comfortable with my computer calling Microsoft every day telling them what a happy customer I am, so I have no intention on installing it in the near future. Call me paranoid, but any software from Microsoft that will be doing any sort of hidden connection and any sort of transmission of data that I'm not allowed to monitor or check on crosses a boundary for me. Today it's that my copy of Windows is legal. Tomorrow it's what my favorite websites are. The day after that it's what DVDs I stick in my hard drive. But we've all heard this rant, so I'll just move on.

    I hope somebody brings this up within the tech community or in the blogosphere. It doesn't seem kosher to have to install spyware in order to get my legal copy of Windows to behave like I'd like it to. Oh well, time to go buy a MacBook Pro.

    Link:http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.as px?FamilyId=4516A6F7-5D44-482B-9DBD-869B4A90159C&d isplaylang=en
  • by TheNetAvenger ( 624455 ) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @02:32AM (#15789270)
    IE 7 could be called both good and bad to be a 'required' update.

        Security is much higher than IE6

        IE7 supports CSS and XHTML 100 times better than IE6 so sites can start using them

        Too many people still use IE6, and IE7 is better than sticking with IE6

        Sites that use some of the 'old' IE6 hacks to make stuff work, will break
        --- Actually, that might be a good thing

        Companies that have used 'old' IE standards instead of moving forward with
        compliance like XHTMl and CSS will face problems if their work arounds
        Assume that IE7 is just like IE6. So some web sites need to be testing for
        IE7 Now.

    I think the good does out weigh the bad, as it will push users that are still using IE6 to get a more standards compliant browser. And it might even educate some of them, so they understand their browser has changed and explore other browsers as well. It will probably help Firefox downloads even.

    The other thing this article seems to miss is that IE7 'will be forced' on users in Vista as well, so this will be good for Web Sites to get ready for the Vista Launch, because Vista simply does not do IE6. (And IE7 in Vista is like the stupid cousin, as it runs in protected mode on Vista, several levels below the user's own security even.)

    MS has made a lot of big press about IE7, has supplied what it does and doesn't do to developers and beta testers for a long time now, and any reasonable web site administrator or developer should already be ensuring that their sites doesn't assume IE7 is as stupida s IE6 and make things fail.

    It would be different if the IE7 list of supported standards, and testing of the Browser itself was not widescale. It has been available almost a full year before its release date, and if that is not enough time for web sites to rip out the crap IE6 kludge code, then maybe this will be a wake up call for them to do so.

    MS fek'd up bad with IE6 and I still don't like that IE7 still maintains some backward compatibility for the IE tags, (hence why it won't pass the ACID2 test), but IE7 is the first push from Microsoft to support standards that are not only MS standards, and if anything we should welcome Microsoft and keep encouraging to do the right thing. (It might actually work.)

    So in the end, we can start using more advanced CSS and XHTML concepts in the next year without having separate coding to make it display properly in IE6. We can also just send the users to Firefox or the IE7 download site and finally write sites like we should have been doing for a while now but couldn't because of the widespread use of IE6.

    • IE7 supports CSS and XHTML 100 times better than IE6 so sites can start using them

      Internet Explorer 7 hasn't got any support for XHTML whatsoever. You are still stuck having to pretend that your XHTML is actually HTML for Internet Explorer to do anything with it.

      The CSS improvements are marginal. They've fixed a lot of bugs, but the new functionality is very sparse, it's just selectors I think. The rest of CSS 2 remains unimplemented.

      I still don't like that IE7 still maintains some backward

  • suprised (Score:3, Informative)

    by mattyrobinson69 ( 751521 ) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @03:13AM (#15789372)
    I'm quite suprised by IE 7, i tried one of the sites i maintain in it, it looked bloody awful, so i changed the conditional comments to LTE IE 6.5 rather than 7.5, and it looked quite close to how it should have.

    thing is, soon i'm going to have to start maintaining 2 extra stylesheets included by conditional comments for every website
  • by DavidD_CA ( 750156 ) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @03:39AM (#15789435) Homepage
    TFA makes no menton of breaking commerce sites, and fails to mention that this "pushed" update prompts the user if they want to upgrade first -- much like Service Pack 2 did.

    The implication from the summary is that IE7 breaks online shopping, but gives absolutely NO evidence towards this.

    And even if there were an issue with certain sites, they've got MONTHS to fix it before the big shopping season. Is that not enough notice? Maybe Microsoft should just hold the update until January, or would that affect Valentine's Day websites? They could it 'till March but what about all the April Fool's websites that might break?

    This is a great example of the OSS world using FUD to slam Microsoft, while they complain about the FUD that Microsoft spreads.
  • by blanks ( 108019 ) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @06:58AM (#15789844) Homepage Journal
    "has serious implications for e-commerce websites whose functionality might be affected by any bugs in the software"

    Beta versions have been out for a while now.  Even IF the application worked so differently then previous versions that it would affect your site your:

    a) Making a website that hardly works on any browser (including old versions of IE)
    b) Not taking your job seriously.  If your job is to manage this sites that will be affected by a new browser version you should have all ready started your testing  a year ago.
    c) If you are not capable of a and b then I'm willing to bet your site has more serious problems to worry about then the 5 people a week that go to your site to begin with.

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