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It's Official: Internet Explorer 8 Optional in Windows 7
rogerd




msg:3864426
 5:31 pm on Mar 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

Microsoft has acknowledged the findings of a pair of bloggers who discovered that starting with the next major test release of Windows 7, Internet Explorer 8 will be able to be removed.

From ZDNet [blogs.zdnet.com].

 

mack




msg:3864473
 6:26 pm on Mar 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

That's certainly an interesting find. I an curious about Microsofts choice of wording `turn it off` as opposed to remove. I wonder what this will mean for Windows explorer. what happens when you type an address in the url bar?

It looks as if MS is just keep to get as many companies off its case as possible when you look at the list of other applications that can also be turned off.

Mack.

weeks




msg:3864535
 7:25 pm on Mar 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

Mac user: Huh?

We Mac users have Safari (new beta 4 is impressive, btw, and available for Windows as well) but, ya know, we can use FF, too and ignore Safair. I have for years, no real reason, however.

I read the story and there is something there, but I have no context.

Stupid Mac-user's question to Windows folks: If you use FF, what role does IE play in your online life? Sorry to be thick here.

MatthewHSE




msg:3864573
 8:24 pm on Mar 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

Stupid Mac-user's question to Windows folks: If you use FF, what role does IE play in your online life? Sorry to be thick here.

As best as I understand it, the mere presence of IE on a computer is a security risk because it can be exploited via hacks of other applications that are not necessarily compromised themselves. The fact that it will be "optional" indicates that it is not tied into the very fiber of the OS anymore, which can only be a good thing.

(Although one wonders what will happen to load times and RAM usage, as IE is essentially loaded into RAM at system startup as things currently stand.)

johnnie




msg:3864581
 8:42 pm on Mar 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

Windows 8 already?

GaryK




msg:3864583
 8:45 pm on Mar 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

I wonder what this will mean for Windows explorer. what happens when you type an address in the url bar?

If I type an address into the Windows Explorer address bar the resultant page opens in my default browser, in this case Firefox.

tangor




msg:3864652
 10:03 pm on Mar 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

A little more research into the "turn it off" is required. My understanding is only that ie.exe is deleted ... ALL OTHER FUNCTIONS OF MISE REMAIN.

Hugene




msg:3864840
 3:57 am on Mar 7, 2009 (gmt 0)

Good news, but knowing MS, probably it won't go far enough.

Funny to think that the same software that gave them the Internet, turned their OS into a black-pit of viruses.

What a missed opportunity when you think of what Google is doing now.

And how amazing was IE 4 when Netscape became the huge Netscape Navigator suite, or whatever it was called.

dan404




msg:3865024
 1:12 pm on Mar 7, 2009 (gmt 0)

For those that want to completely uninstall IE you will be disappointed.
You will be able to disable, it will still be there just invisible to you.

kaled




msg:3865032
 1:34 pm on Mar 7, 2009 (gmt 0)

1) Will html help run under Firefox or Opera?
2) Will Windows Update run without browser support?
3) Will MS provide ActiveX support or will this technology be abandoned?

Unless the answer to questions 1 and 2 is "Yes", then IE will have to remain installed for everyone. If the answer to question 3 is "yes" then that will enable the vast majority of users to ditch IE completely.

I remain of the opinion that MS should drop IE completely and support the development of Firefox/Gecko (even though I hate Firefox 3 more every time I have to use it) however, there are problems to overcome.

Kaled.

bill




msg:3865035
 1:48 pm on Mar 7, 2009 (gmt 0)

If you run Vista or Windows 7 then you can see that IE isn't really necessary for Windows Update. That can be separated, and I think they moved that way in Vista because of the whole EU thing...(that's debatable)

They can do Windows Update without IE...

Help? That never had to be IE'd. I realize why they did it on IE, but it's not essential on any level that I can see.

ActiveX? With so many financial institutions and other corporate sites totally dependant on this tech, how would they get rid of it? I agree it's not the best, but...

dan404




msg:3865044
 2:10 pm on Mar 7, 2009 (gmt 0)

1. No, as of now. I am pretty sure yes in the very near future it will open in your default browser.
2. It already does unless you are running Win 98 or have auto updates turned off.
3. There are already plugins for almost all browsers.

kaled




msg:3865218
 8:06 pm on Mar 7, 2009 (gmt 0)

It is unlikely that html-help is simply going to open in a default browser. The last time I looked, the .chm file format was unpublished (but has been more or less reverse engineered). One way or another, it requires a rendering engine and that means Internet Explorer (certainly core components) unless or until Microsoft provide an html-help engine based on something else.

I suspect that Windows Update continues to use core components of Internet Explorer. It may look like a Control Panel element but appearances can be deceptive. Looking at processes in Task Manager doesn't help in this case. (Links are highlighted by underlining and changing cursor. This is easy to do in any program but suggests the use of html to me.)

If Internet Explorer is not the default browser you can say it's "switched off". The real issue is the rendering engine and security. If it were possible to replace the rendering engine so that IE ran with Gecko, that would be significant, but simply "switching off" IE is neither here nor there.

Kaled.

swa66




msg:3865771
 5:17 pm on Mar 8, 2009 (gmt 0)

Disabling the GUI to IE isn't going to do much good to reduce the use of IE and get more diversity in the browsers out there.

In the cases where a server doesn't have the GUI to IE, that would prevent somebody from using it like a client and surf around the web and pick up some infection with malware that way.

We can only wish MSFT would drop proprietary stuff like VML, ActiveX, ...

webdoctor




msg:3866094
 8:11 am on Mar 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

I'm pretty sure that if even if we "turn off" IE in Windows 7, we're still going to have to apply every security patch that relates to IE and its components ... and we'll probably have reboot after each one :-(

bill




msg:3866095
 8:20 am on Mar 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

Are you privy to some new information or is that just speculation?

kaled




msg:3866213
 12:34 pm on Mar 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

This is interesting...

[news.bbc.co.uk...]

Plans to introduce modular features in Windows 7 have been welcomed by the European Commission's former Microsoft monitoring trustee.

Windows Features allows users to turn off applications such as Media Centre, Media Player and Internet Explorer.

If Microsoft's idea of modularity is the same as mine then this would appear to be a step in the right direction. (My idea of modularity would involve ensuring that all essential components would work without otherwise non-essential components.)

Kaled.

graeme_p




msg:3866221
 12:46 pm on Mar 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

I suspect they will take modularity further. For one thing, they need a lightweight but fully functional and compatible (i.e. not CE) Windows for the netbook market.

nealrodriguez




msg:3867310
 5:25 pm on Mar 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

well if it has as many bugs as ie 7 had when it first dropped; i know my option - out.

J_RaD




msg:3879396
 4:22 pm on Mar 26, 2009 (gmt 0)


As best as I understand it, the mere presence of IE on a computer is a security risk because it can be exploited via hacks of other applications that are not necessarily compromised themselves. The fact that it will be "optional" indicates that it is not tied into the very fiber of the OS anymore, which can only be a good thing.

the mere presence of any software on a computer is a security risk - IE isn't the only exploited software in the universe.

you can run safe software unsafely and unsafe software safely.

you want a safe computer? FF isn't the answer - unplug it.

[edited by: J_RaD at 4:27 pm (utc) on Mar. 26, 2009]

kaled




msg:3879751
 12:06 am on Mar 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

The mere presence of software does not represent a security threat. The software must at the very least be running. Even Internet Explorer does not represent a security threat if it is not running.

IE may not be the only software that is exploited, however, whilst millions of PCs have been infected via Internet Explorer, I am not aware of any reports of PCs that have been infected via Firefox even though many weaknesses have been identified.

Kaled.

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