Internet Explorer 7

Discussion in 'Computing and Networks' started by Dave, Oct 21, 2006.

  1. Dave

    Thread Starter Retired Moderator

    Nov 17, 2003
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    Microsoft are gearing up the (much belated) update to their web browser Internet Explorer, namely version 7. The download can be found here, however Microsoft will be rolling the browser out over Automatic Updates in the next few weeks (which could mean anything but I'd expect it to be before October is out), so those who don't have Automatic Updates switched on will need to go through with the manual download and update.

    IE7 will only be available for:
    - Windows XP SP2
    - Windows XP Pro x64
    - Windows Server 2003
    - Windows Vista (obviously)

    Why update you may ask?

    Microsoft have compliled a range of reason as to why you should update, but to be fair the real reason is the massive improvement in security over the 5 year old aged technology that was IE6.

    The user interface is somewhat bizarre since it is based on the Vista window structure, but that is really down to personal choice.

    Anyone had a look at IE7? What do you think?

    Dave
     
  2. beenthere

    Retired Moderator

    Apr 20, 2004
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    Hi Dave,

    I was just on the update site putting the 23 critical updates on a pair of new computers. Did not see any mention of IE7 - but they have been making noises for some time now.

    I will probably wait a few months before installing IE7. Microsoft seems to have a pattern of dropping one application with never-quite-resolved flaws for a <new> app (or OS) that's going to be the greatest ever. Then the holes in the new code get exploited, and the rounds of lengthy, critical updates start.

    I'd be happy if they would leave the UI alone, and concentrate on the code under it. Just the menuing in Vista is a resource hog par excellence. I'm just breaking in a Gateway 6610 with a high-end video card. It would be pretty much the low-end machine capable of running the full version of Vista.

    IE7's big appeal is in tabbed browsing. This could be seriously interesting, but I'm still beyond the reach of any broadband. I would expect the app to grow a bit, too. Right now, my IE6 folder is 18.7 megs. Wonder what IE7 will have grown to? Also, when will the first updates appear?

    As I have said - I'll wait a bit.
     
  3. Dave

    Thread Starter Retired Moderator

    Nov 17, 2003
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    There is an issue with installing IE7 with the ZoneAlarm firewall, and it is no easy work around, but for berevity here is what you can do:

    1. Prior to running the IE7 installer, disable your resident AV and AS protection - you will be advised to do this at the start of the installation should you forget.

    2. Shutdown ZoneAlarm and switch on the Windows Firewall. Uninstall ZoneAlarm - this is a pain but is the only way I have found so far.

    3. Run the IE7 installer to uninstall IE6 and install IE7.

    4. Once the installation has completed (successfully you hope), reinstall ZoneAlarm.

    The conflict with ZoneAlarm comes around since ZoneAlarm locks certain registry keys preventing the IE7 installer from modifying the necessary keys for each user account - hence it aborts the installation and removes IE7.

    Hope that helps a little for those that use ZoneAlarm as there firewall.

    Dave
     
  4. Dave

    Thread Starter Retired Moderator

    Nov 17, 2003
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    Hi Bill,

    The initial IE7 download is ~15MB, but then during the installation it goes to download a series of IE7 updates - it was only released 3 days ago! The reason that you won't have seen IE7 in the updates yet is because Microsoft have given a window of a couple of weeks for companies to put in place procedures to accept or reject the new version (similar in the way companies were given this option for SP2). I think the AU role out is scheduled for November 1st.

    As for the underlying code, MS have massively improved it for IE7, but to be fair IE6 was so bad that that wasn't particularly difficult to do. Although I'm no website designer, from what I hear it is also better to work with, however it still lags the standards compliance found in other web browsers, but as end users this will be almost completely transparent to us. The new UI for IE7 is somewhat disorienting though, as a user of a none Vista Windows OS.

    As someone who dumped IE6 some 3+ years ago the feature set on offer is nothing new and only really gets MS back in the game. The only real reason I am upgrading is because sadly there are some websites (still) that only work in IE, and I think it is best to take advantage of the fact that the new version is intrinsically more secure.

    As this afternoon has proved to me, the road to the upgrade will be anything but smooth.

    Dave
     
  5. Dave

    Thread Starter Retired Moderator

    Nov 17, 2003
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    Ok, so you don't need to go to the extremes of uninstalling ZoneAlarm provided you have the latest version of ZoneAlarm installed ( version 6.5.722). The following is a safe and easier way of doing this:

    1. Disconnect from the net.

    2. Open ZoneAlarm and de-select the "Load at startup" check box. Switch of ZoneAlarm from the system tray.

    3. Turn on the Windows Firewall: Start>Control Panel>Security Center>Windows Firewall.

    4. Reconnect to the net and install IE7, you will be asked to reboot to complete the installation. After the reboot configure IE7 and then restart ZoneAlarm - remember to re-select the "Load at startup" check box.

    Hope that is of help to anyone wanting to install IE7 along side the ZoneAlarm firewall.

    Dave
     
  6. beenthere

    Retired Moderator

    Apr 20, 2004
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    Hi Dave,

    I downloaded the IE7 installer, but we are going to wait a bit before trying it out. The news about the three (!?!) critical updates out in the same week as the release of the browser makes us a teeny nervous. Doesn't look like MS has done anything more than the usual blundering mess.

    This is unrelated, but has anyone found a way to live with the XP firewall in a network environment? I just got instantly tired of it.
     
  7. BladeSabre

    Senior Member

    Aug 11, 2005
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    I'm not clear on whether they're going to add any new non-standards-compliant stuff that people will start using. I hope not.

    The "Alpha Channel in PNG" worries me. I'm sure the other browsers will catch up with that quickly enough if they haven't already, but I hate to think what people will do with their websites once this feature is available in IE.
     
  8. Dave

    Thread Starter Retired Moderator

    Nov 17, 2003
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    I cannot confirm whether the updates were security-based or not, but it still maked me smile! I have used IE7 a couple of times in the past week and it is a ten-fold improvement over IE6, but like I said there is little in it that I haven't seen before (although I do like the ability to set more than one homepage, which is only achieved in other web browsers through use of session management, and the Quick-Tabs idea is pretty neat).

    As for the XP Firewall, it depends whether you are using SP1 or SP2. The Internet Connection Firewall (ICF) in SP1 is notorious for being unusable, whereas the Windows Firewall in SP2 is better but still lacks outbound packet filtering. For this reason alone I haven't used the Windows Firewall for more than downloading a ne firewall. Are you looking for a new firewall for personal use?

    Well the standards issue is an ongoing one. Back when MS said they would be updating IE they gave the impression that they would bring IE7 into line with the standards available in other browsers. Now that IE7 is available, it doesn't do too well on the Acid2 Test - make from that what you want.

    I'm not aware of the Alpha Channel in PNG issue, what is that?

    Dave
     
  9. BladeSabre

    Senior Member

    Aug 11, 2005
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    The page you linked at the top states that support for Alpha Channel in PNG will be added in IE7. There is nothing wrong with that in itself (and it was bound to happen eventually) but I fear it may encourage web designers to do bad things. Kind of like the severe misuse of Flash on some websites, only easier for novices to access.
     
  10. beenthere

    Retired Moderator

    Apr 20, 2004
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    Hi Dave,

    No, this is in a school. We use Novell for the network, and all installations of XP are up to SP2. The firewall wants to block a lot of Novell traffic, which leads me to believe that the folks at MS must either be utterly ignorant of mainstream network protocols, or else they eagerly wish to force users to use MS networking. Anyway, early adoption of major software apps is not always wise. Beta testing doesn't find nearly enough bugs.

    The school has a pretty good firewall in place. The worst I've seen in two years are some agrgressive shopping site trojan downloaders.
     
  11. Dave

    Thread Starter Retired Moderator

    Nov 17, 2003
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    Hey BladeSabre, I have looked into it and I appreciate your concern about abuse of closed standards. Alpha Channel in PNG is implemented in other standards compliant browsers and is detailed over at w3.org so I don't see the issue, its probably my ignorance over web design in general. Do you think there is potential for abuse of this standard in the same way as Flash? If so, how?

    Sorry Bill, I'm out of my depth there, I've never grasped the Novel Network workings - heck I can barely use the Novel log-in client at work!

    If you are looking for options, I have had recommendations from several quarters for Comodo's software. It may be something worth looking into.

    Dave
     
  12. Gadget

    Distinguished Member

    Jan 10, 2006
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    Firefox 2.0 is also now available for those with a IE phobia....
     
  13. Dave

    Thread Starter Retired Moderator

    Nov 17, 2003
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    Yes, t'was released sometime last week. From what I'm led to believe they have improved the excessive memory leakage problems, but many of the "improvements" introduced in version 2.0 are again nothing that haven't been around in other more mature browsers for some time.

    To be fair many of the criticisms leveled at IE6 by the FF fanboys have been addressed in IE7, so we should see an errosion of IE phobia!

    Dave
     
  14. Dave

    Thread Starter Retired Moderator

    Nov 17, 2003
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    This may not be the case afterall, ref: Slashdot Article.

    Dave
     
  15. BladeSabre

    Senior Member

    Aug 11, 2005
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    I'm sorry to say I did not think things out properly before opening my mouth. I believe there was some merit to what I was saying, but I also know that I'm doing this backwards, and that's not so good.

    I think in web design it is important to keep things compatible with older browsers as far as possible, as well as deliberate text-only browsers, screen readers etc. Where certain features are not going to work, they should break gracefully, and not turn the rest of the page into an unreadable mess.

    Alpha Channel in PNG, if used properly, could create some nice effects - and if people do the proper things with layout, ALT text and so on, and are careful with their PNG construction, then it's all good. However, I've noticed that many people who write web sites give little thought to such things.

    For one thing, I've seen transparent PNGs render in really crazy ways in software that doesn't support them. I don't quite remember what they did, but the weirdness stuck in my mind.

    The comparison with Flash extends as far as the temptation to put essential content and links into a pretty graphical format that breaks horribly in older browsers etc. (Because it's so nice, it becomes more tempting.) Like I said, it's quite possible to do it right, it's just that some people won't, as always ;)

    ----

    It's unfortunate if Firefox 2.0 still has the memory leakage problems... I'm waiting a while before upgrading to that, too.
     
  16. Dave

    Thread Starter Retired Moderator

    Nov 17, 2003
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    Well this is still an issue for new browsers to this very day. Why do you think we have the need to use user-agent spoofing when trying to gain access to certain websites. Its not the fact that some websites build there code to standards, rather they build their code to bugs in IE6. One hopes the move to IE7 and the bringing it into line with web standards should infact increase some backwards compatibility with older (and current minority) web browsers. That said I agree with your comments regarding the Alpha PNG issue, I just hope that the standard allows for incompliant apps to ignore these images.

    I've heard a story of someone leaving FF2 open for over 3 hours with one blank tab open - when he returned it was chomping 306MB of memory!! If this is true, the minimum specs for FF2 should be 1024MB of memory :D

    Those in the UK (and possibly US) should be receiving the IE7 update through automatic updates in the next couple of days.

    Dave
     
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