"released to manufacturing"
That's twisting the definition of manufacturing a little too much I think.
Following a swift development and testing process, Microsoft has delivered the final version of Internet Explorer 11 for Windows 7, less than a month after it was made available to Windows 8 users via the 8.1 update. Redmond shipped its first developer preview of IE11 for Windows 7 in July, and a second, final preview appeared …
That's twisting the definition of manufacturing a little too much I think.
True, but the word "manufacture" comes from roots meaning "hand" and "made", so I think the vast majority of the materials goods we buy and sell are stretching the original definition slightly.
And anyway, it isn't *so* long since "release to manufacturing" actually meant "start stamping out those CD-ROMs". Or am I showing my age?
I'll install it as part of the normal patch thing, bu there is no way they can actually make me USE it.
Oh ye of little faith.
So how do you plan to stop applications from loading up the MSHTML ActiveX control for displaying HTML content in-application?
I tried it as part of a Win 8.1 install, and found that it was very fast on some simple websites and Bing websites (like Bing maps) and had very low memory usage. Memory use per open web-page was about one-half that of Chrome. However, on a number of interactive websites like Gmail, it was dog slow compared to Chrome. So much so that I quickly gave up on trying to use it.
Also, I'm surprised at the very small number of security add-ons available for IE10 and IE11. You can set some basic anti-tracking lists, but you can't get anything like Ghostery or HTTPS Everywhere or any auto-cookie-destroyers. I think the lack of security add-ons will make it much more prone to problems.
"I'll install it as part of the normal patch thing, bu there is no way they can actually make me USE it."
Well looks like I'm safe. I've got Win 8 on the home machines, I'm not f***ing about wasting my life with another set of monster downloads and reinstalls, so there will be no IE11 for me (although I use FF 99% of the time).
That does show how utterly incompetent Microsoft are, that they're trying tp push IE11 via windows update to W7 users, but then expect W8 users to waste their lives visiting the otherwise barren Windows app store, digging out product keys....
I really look forward to the day when Microsoft are history, along with their crummy, poorly supported bloatware.
No digging out of product keys required. Open store, click on half page button for Windows 8.1 upgrade, go away for 2 hours, come back and its done, easier than Windows Update in my case as my work has a baulked WSUS install that screws it up.
I don't use IE day to day for the same reason as everyone else, but IE11 is a lot faster than IE10 and generally more pleasant to use.
Blocking Windows 8 users from getting it though is ridonculous!
"Blocking Windows 8 users from getting it though is ridonculous"
They have done this before in XP SP3, nothing new.
So how do you plan to stop applications from loading up the MSHTML ActiveX control for displaying HTML content in-application?
Rather simple to do, just make the relevant .dll inaccessible to users using file permissions or, even better, hijack .dll class registration. However, I have a feeling that would break quite a few applications including Windows ones. Certainly not recommended and going to do anything like this myself.
This aside, I do not quite see the point of disabling IE. It seems to me that recently, the majority of security holes were not in IE any more, but plugins such as Java, Adobe Reader or Flash installed in any browser.
John P wrote:
No digging out of product keys required. Open store, click on half page button for Windows 8.1 upgrade, go away for 2 hours, come back and its done,
Alternatively: "Something happened and Windows 8.1 couldn't be installed. Please try again. Error code: 0x8007004"
That's one of the things I like about Chrome.
Built in flash player and PDF viewer, combined with a really reliable auto-update - often updating before adobe has released flash updates to the public.
combined with a fairly scary looking prompt if you try and run out of date Java, and it's much harder for people to accidentally get malware on their machine via a browser/plug-in compromise.
The only issue is the builtin PDF reader only works for basic PDFs. Throw in a simple form and it has trouble. And keeping the builtin flash plugins can be a pain, as well. Many times its a manual process and a pain.
Chrome is a good browser but their memory bloat has become a terrible issue. There's no way I'm using IE regardless of version.
Xubuntu & Firefox worked fine here, is what I am using right now, but my problem is now, when I do want to boot in windows, it goes to updateland for hours, which means I rarely boot it, except as VM when needed ....
Been Using debian base long time, I feel thinking windows/mac is only answer, is not looking @ all options, and paying the bill THEY demand ...
My plan for this is foolproof, I don't utilise a Microsoft operating system, job done.
That's the only question now, isn't it? Every change to any dominant software now is never about features or functionality, it is always about locking in the users and taking away choice -- so what is it this time? Ads on the desktop? A big honking 'Microsoft Store' button? Touch interface? "I heart Windows 8" desktop wallpaper?
It'll be bad, it'll be nefarious, it'll be designed to lock in the user, and I guess I will find out what it is Soon Enough(tm).
Perhaps Google could do us all a favour and announce forthwith that they're dropping support for OSes running touch-centric UIs on devices with non-touch input resulting in an overall crappy user experience.
I must have used IE on this machine all of once in 2 years... and that was to d/l firefox
What's more wow is they still try
IE isn't even good enough for that anymore - the last Win7 install I did (about a month ago) IE10 got force updated onto the system, so I tried it but it refused to download FF! So I crossloaded FF and said goodbye to IE forever, again.
..."to hit Windows Update prostrate"
This has created several images and associations in my mind that I'd like to forget as soon as possible.
Apparently the EULA with the blocker has the following thing that I may not do:
disclose the results of any benchmark tests of the software to any third party without Microsoft’s prior written approval;
Well, the script completed incredibly quickly. However, it was far more obtuse than it needed to be in order to use. It's not "click and go", it's "click and extract to folder, then run cmd as administrator, then run IE11_Blocker.cmd /B". After that, as a rough benchmark, it runs about as fast as any other 2KB script (oh my, I'm benchmarking some more am I?).
Oh dear, oh dear. Microshaft, fuck you and the horse you rode in on. I'll disclose benchmark results if I want to.
"Oh dear, oh dear. Microshaft, fuck you and the horse you rode in on. I'll disclose benchmark results if I want to."
I think the thing to do is score software like that as 'failed to complete benchmarks' in reviews.
When I got a WP7 phone, the IE touch experience was also way nicer than on an iPhone of the time; it had genuinely zero lag. Was like playing console games at 30fps and then switching to a PC at 80fps; totally different level of fluidity.
I'm no IE fan; I'm just saying :)
Crikey do people still use the user data mining Google Chrome (worse than the NSA) ? IE has been unusable for years. FF or Safari all the way for me :-)
You're having a giraffe.
More to the point, how many devices running Windows 7 have touch screens? It'll be interesting to see if the user experience on a non-touch device is better or worse.
Didn't they have to pay massive fines and sign all sorts of anti-competitive agreements NOT to bundle/force IE on their OS? I think the whole browser anti-competitive thing was a load of bollocks anyway, but given that it happened, how are they now getting away with it on Win 8/8.1?
They get away with it now because they are blocking IE11 on 8.0, which is different from forcing it.
"Microsoft says it will begin rolling out IE11 as an automatic update for Windows 7 in the next few weeks, beginning with those systems that already have one of the IE11 preview releases installed."
Do you have a link to that statement?
So, the upgrade works on 7 and 8.1 but not 8. And to stop the automatic update, you need to install an "automatic update blocker", which I guess is a background process needed to stop another background process working that updates your web browser, probably whether you wanted to or not, unless you explicitly don't want that to happen and so run the program that automatically blocks the automatic update.
Yep, I guess the average user will get to grips with that. Is it me, or is all this complexity involving a flipping web browser a sign that MS has totally lost control of the size and complexity of Windows?
And I thought the nagging to upgrade in Firefox was bad : had one bad experience with that when some of my most used plugins stopped working and had to painfully downgrade again, so I've grown wary now of fixes that break things that weren't broken.
Purely from a technical viewpoint, what they do means there is always a significant proportion of users with different versions of the browser. This doesn't happen with Chrome or Firefox, users of these browsers are continually updated to the latest stable version, but with IE, particularly globally, you will always have some clients on really old browsers.
For instance, our website has Chinese users. This means everything has to work correctly in IE 6. A minority of our XP users still use IE 7 and 8, we have lots of IE 9 and iE 10 users, and more IE 11 users.
What this means for us developers is a non-ending game of whack-a-mole as we fix an IE bug in IE 6, only to see an unintended side effect in IE 9 - it drives you bonkers.
Do they really think people upgrade windows to get a newer version of IE?
It does happen, both my FF and Chrome are way out of date on my work workstation. I never use them unless something doesn’t work in Safari, I used to rely on Camino. I fired up the Feret yesterday and found I was still at version 17.x and was prompted to update, but could decline if desired.
I know what you mean about the MS branding of IE and Windows. I thought that was part of the settlement when MS was slapped for bundling IE with windows.....
Time for a pint!
Nail on head, hit.
That said, I think that MS is doing the right thing to force Win 7 onto IE 11. A lot of corporates migrated to Win 7 but haven't updated the browser since then because MS have such a confusing update policy, so this means still lots of IE 8 where it shouldn't be. They should, of course, make at least IE 9 available for XP. But they won't of course.
Pet peeve: I have a perfectly valid Win 7 VM but MS won't let me install IE 10 on it because despite having a serial number I haven't "phoned home" to legitimate it… Wonder how that VM will fare once they start forcing IE 11 on everyone.
Purely from a technical viewpoint, I wish they'd open source IE but not abandon it. Then we'd have a credible browser implementation that wasn't webkit. However, regarding the rest of your post, I don't think they can do *anything* with the current version of IE that will relieve your suffering at the hands of a 10-year-old version. You know as well as I do that the only solution there is user-education. (That is, persuade them to use Firefox.)
You can install it regardless, just extract the installation file and as an administrator put the files into the correct place. It will of course fail because Microsoft uses the registry for everything which is nasty, just run the internet explorer repair tool and it will sort out the registry for you. There, update done without phoning home.
On upgrading to IE11 on Windows 7 it wiped out my favourites!
Back to Firefox.
It seems that, more often than not, I can't update IE on customers' computers because there are (big) updates or service packs missing. Or of course the OS doesn't support newer versions.
So it's never a 5 minute job updating the browser.
Despite being an IE user, I end up installing Firefox as a quick fix to get something to work.
Can it render vector stuff well now?
I'm using IE9 and it's piss poor at doing GIS stuff. Any other browser renders vector shapes and plots points easily, 10,000 or more no issues. IE struggles with 250 points.
Why should we reply when you didn't even care to test the latest version before it, IE 10?
"However, on a number of interactive websites like Gmail, it was dog slow compared to Chrome."
Weird. I just thought GMail would not be heavy enough to slow down any browser.
Why no IE11 for Windows 8? I think it is due to lack of a proper package manager -- without a defined set of files that IE "owns" as opposed to other bits of Windows, the more Windows versions IE installs on, the more sets of updates they must produce. They would have had to produce later updates for Win8, Win 8+IE11, Win8.1 and Win8.1+IE11 otherwise, as it stands they eliminate Win8+IE11. Are they going to release more Win8 updates *at all* or insist on Win8.1? Honestly curious.
"Why no IE11 for Windows 8?"
How about ... because 8.1 is a free upgrade and therefore there is no reason for anyone to still be using 8.0? As a general rule, I'm unsympathetic to customers who don't install service packs and expect me to support the un-fixed platform as well as the one the other 99% of my customers are using.
REJOICE! Windows 7 users can get IE11, soon they'll have NO choice
El Reg, you may well say there's no choice but many of us have already made it with respect to Windows 7 and IE updates well before this authoritarian edict from Microsoft ever hit the streets.
And Microsoft, I hope you're also reading this invective, after all it's aimed at you; El Reg's only the messenger.
The fact is none of our Windows 7 machines have Automatic Updates even installed. The usual practice of nuking it is just to disable its service but we've found that is not safe because you, Microsoft, can't be trusted NOT to turn the service back on again at the first opportunity. Moreover, you do so in a deceitful and untrustworthy way by hiding offending turn-on 'Trojans' in the setup of some of your other products.
We users have made a conscious choice NOT to turn updates on yet you deliberately act contrary to our wishes. Who in Hell's name owns these PCs anyway? Well Microsoft, it's not you, and you're NOT going to dictate how we use them!
RIP Automatic Updates
Microsoft, when forced to use Windows 7, usually because you've ensured XP's drivers are not updated, we start the Windows Updates 'cleanup' process at the Command line. We begin thus:
SC delete wuauserv
To ensure its gone we also remove any relevant registry entries and 'wu' DLLs (update files). When done, there's no way that Automatic Updates has a hope in Hell of ever working as it no longer exists on the PC!
The only practical way to resurrect updates is to reinstall Windows from the distribution disk—and here there are strict rules about PCs being quarantined from the internet, as we assume newly installed Windows dial home with the eagerness and slipperiness of eels trying to flee one's hands.
Microsoft, we're fed up with years and years of your irksome one-product monopoly, your constant authoritarian dictates about what we should or should not do on our PCs and when we should upgrade them. Your incessant nagging about updates/upgrades rings like the mantra of a communist dictator who's only one product to sell—the party line. Right, your warning threats no longer work and they haven't for quite some time.
It's all over now, we've woken up to you and we no longer listen to your rants—it's mutual, after all you've never listened to us. No longer will you dictate which updates or security patches we'll install. In the past we tolerated your monopoly as our weak legislators hadn't the guts to enforce or further legislate anti-monopolistic laws against you, but from now on we'll just ignore you altogether.
Moreover, your attempts to scare the bejesus out of us XP users over the end of XP support isn't working. We're still 30-35% of the world's PC users and we've already called your bluff by putting a halt to the buckets of money we threw at you to little effect. Your 2014 XP deadline no longer worries us, especially those of us who've been happily using only XP-sp3 and occasionally Windows 7-sp1—both sans Automatic Updates! Why should it? After all, for us, your deadline won't make one iota of difference.
Why our stance? It's difficult to paraphrase in what would be a book but I'll try. If, year after year, decade after decade, you'd not produced bloated inferior code so full of security holes that it'd make a Swiss cheese blush with shame—and produced code whose fashion always dominated over substance, then many users wouldn't now take this stance. Microsoft, essentially your products have always been optimised for maximum sales, not system integrity or data security. So great the problem one can only hint its full extent here.
Why millions of XP users are still reticent of even moving to Windows 7, let alone 8 or 8.1 are many and varied, now with the enforced IE 11 upgrade there's yet another reason. Here's just a few more:
Cost: Microsoft, in your period of dominance, O/Ses have gone from giveaway utilities designed to launch programs to internet O/Ses, and now products in their own right. But with every Windows upgrade you've repackaged millions of lines of previously-used code and resold them to us over again in new packaging for an exorbitant price. Now awake to the fact, many users refuse to pay for what's poor value for money.
Innovation: Microsoft, by your actions you've shown your 'freedom to innovate' mantra of years past only translates into 'we're a monopoly so we'll do things in our own time'. For years, you've delayed and or failed to put innovation where it's really needed. Take for instance this well known example from history: the long-suffering decade where we all had an excruciating wait for you to metamorphose 8*3 filenames into something slightly better. The current list of issues/limitations with Windows would easily fill a book (which I can't dwell on here), but you've so hoodwinked the techie press with every possible distraction that almost none focus on what's key and needed to significantly improve Windows.
Cosmetic Changes for Marketing's Sake: Nothing illustrates this more than the Windows 8 fiasco. For some perverse illogical reason, you've deliberately not kept backward compatibility and ergonomic consistency between Windows versions and it's annoyed your users beyond belief. Why you've done this and alienated so many is the big question—surely market research would have alerted you otherwise. Presumably, your reason goes 'we're a monopoly so they'll all have to fall in line eventually'. Well, over 30% of the world's Windows users have answered 'Stuff-you Microsoft, we're not paying you more money just to go backwards, we're staying firmly put'.
First-Class Annoyances, of which Windows 7 possesses in heaps, are best illustrated with an example: XP users love Quick Launch, now in Windows 7 it's gone—or so difficult to get back it may as well not be there. To what purpose was Quick Launch removed? Even if there are logical explanations then why isn't there a simple one-click solution to bring it back? Your actions are just perverse, as we know Quick Launch code is still there inside Windows 7.
Unnecessary Retraining Costs: Changing UIs etc. without giving users options to fall back to previous ways of working by deliberately removing earlier features not only reeks of an authoritarian bully but it costs IT departments significant amounts of money for what ought to be unnecessary retaining costs.
Upgrading from XP to Windows 7 breaks too many things: Unlike iPhones, for many the novelty of Windows has long worn off, thus there's little incentive to upgrade when incompatibility breaks too many existing programs. Why pay for Windows 7 to break an environment that works perfectly well under XP? For many, not upgrading is a no-brainer, especially so in situations where there's little user interaction other than to launch dedicated apps—display signs, industrial processes, single-application environments, etc. It'll be decades before XP is eliminated from all of these niches.
Windows 7 is Bloatware Personified: I've just reinstalled Win 7 on a laptop and the default install—i.e.: no extras over the distribution disk—and it came to a whopping 28.5GB! Sure, there's gigabytes of paging file, there's also the massive hibernation file (which you never thought to ask us about or option at installation time); irrespective the base size of Windows 7 is absolutely huge. Microsoft, even those publicly batting for you make the point about bloat: Mark Russinovich (of Winternals, Sysinternals fame and your employee) has said that the core of Windows is only some 20 or 30 files and the rest only serve ancillary functions. With every new version, Windows bloatware continues to escalate. Examine this issue holistically and the only logical conclusion is that bloatware is out of control—simply it's ridiculous; in fact it's outrageous.
Security Holes—The Ongoing Windows Legacy: With so much bloatware contributing to Windows, it's little wonder the O/S has so many ongoing security issues. A small streamlined Windows would be easier to maintain and secure.
Microsoft, again your greed and perversity is at the fore. If you allowed users to decouple huge chunks of non-essential code such as Internet Explorer, Windows Explorer, Media Player and even integral parts such as TCP/IP and LAN functions and allow 3rd party replacements then there'd be less security risk.
Automatic Updates: Bloatware still unsatisfied, the moment Windows 7 goes on line you've the damn audacity to allow it download well over a gigabyte of updates WITHOUT ever warning the user! Updates wouldn't be necessary or significantly less so if your product was actually fit for purpose and worked as stated in your sales blurb.
Microsoft, your hide has no bounds: as if that weren't enough, you make no distinction for wireless internet connections. With wireless connections now commonplace you still allow gigabytes of updates to download via wireless again WITHOUT warning the user beforehand. Too many times we've been unexpectedly caught out, left high and dry WITHOUT any internet connection whatsoever, because Automatic Updates has consumed both all available bandwidth and credit!
It's no wonder so many users nuke Automatic Updates!
Microsoft, a class action should be launched against you to recover the millions of dollars lost to wireless and internet charges directly attributable to Automatic Updates! You're actually stealing internet time from us, and your shoddy, substandard, poxy Windows merchandise is directly responsible.
...And don't for a second dare you blame us or say we're irresponsible for turning off or disabling Automatic Updates! Moreover, Microsoft you've a damn fucking hide attempting to make us users feel guilty about not upgrading or using updates.
Microsoft, this time we've your measure and we're calling your bluff.
A good long post... Only have to respond to your "XP users love Quick Launch, now in Windows 7 it's gone"
- er... not really. In a good sense, its been updated/replaced with "pinned" programs. Where ever your prog is in your start menu, right click and select "Pin to Taskbar". Its the same thing, but better. You can pin a desktop icon to the task bar by dragging it (Just like QuickLaunch). And it doesn't come off by accident.
Really, this is the least thing to bitch about. You can arrange these the way you want (just like QuickLaunch) and they won't move around.
An annoyance is the removal of the UP button from Explorer in Vista/Win7. They brought it back in Win8, but that isn't worth it. But of course, you can simply click on the DIR name in the address bar to go back... but the UP button was simply easier and more consistent as it was always there... rather than you having to read and click on the folders you want to go UP from.
I certainly have,the only PC with windows on is this one... my games machine.
The other 2 are linux boxes and the only time windows (xp) runs is in a VM with NO 'net connectivity to stop it phoning home all the time and downloading 6 tons of crap unneeded in a testing machine.
Well said. I drew the line at Win2K because of the trend in licence conditions, especially where MS reserve the right to remove programs they don't like from your machine, without asking!
Actually updates and improvements will continue for WinXP, just as they have for Win2K. Only they will now be in the hands of enthusiasts. Have a look at the forums on MSFN.ORG .
Another "Really Pisses Me Off"(TM) about Automatic Updates relates to Win2K, it may be standard behaviour elsewhere as well. Although automatic updates has been "turned off" in the control panel since installation, it still to this day attempts to clock in with various windows updates sites. As I hadn't removed the files, I had resorted to 127.0.0.1 in the hosts file for all the addresses it tries to contact.
Only have to respond to your "XP users love Quick Launch, now in Windows 7 it's gone"
- er... not really. In a good sense, its been updated/replaced with "pinned" programs.
In First-Class Annoyances I did make the point that Quick Launch is not gone but it's hard to get back as it is in XP, in fact it's very far from obvious if you're not told. Here's how: http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/888-quick-launch-enable-disable.html. This is about the simplest explanation of many and it takes eight steps. And you tell me how any normal user would know exactly what to cut-and-paste in point '2.'. Not likely!
I'm fully aware of the Taskbar 'Pinning' in W7, but (a) it's not the same as Quick Launch and it's not as convenient--I can drop anything into Quick Launch in a split second by simply dragging it there. Default action in Win-7 dragging doesn't work to pin; (b) Win 7's 'Pinned' Taskbar has icons that are spaced miles apart, this takes up valuable desktop real estate, it's nowhere as economical on space as Quick Launch. I've just counted the Quick Launch icons on this Win 7 laptop and there's 30. These fit with about a half dozen spaces to spare on this 1920x1080 screen as well as the Pinned stuff (default) which I've not bothered to remove. If all pinned it'd be impossible to do. Other issues with the default Win 7 installation is that the icons are too big and so is the Taskbar--all this takes valuable time to rectify (and it should not be necessary).
It really is hard to understand MS, we've been struggling for extra screen real estate for years, and the moment we get it MS takes it away with a chunky, oversize UI. Just about everything Microsoft does is contrary to user expectations, here, also add that damn Ribbon in for good measure. It's simple, MS doesn't give us what we want, we simply walk with our money--the Ribbon meant no more MS Office.
The real issue is that every major release of Windows (except DOS versions '95, 98) , the UI is significantly different from each other (and there's no easy facility to allow a user to immediately fallback to the previous version's UI.)
The futzing and stuffing around trying to fix the problem by millions of users across the planet unnecessarily wastes millions and millions of hours of human time, and it's simply because of Microsoft's perversity and bloody-mindedness. It really is time we objected big-time (I hope the W8 fiasco is just the beginning). I can count the time lost in my own life due to Microsoft's shoddy products and it amounts to years. It's time Microsoft was brought to account over this lost time as there's no legitimate reason for it other than some perceived benefit to MS's bottom line.
BTW, I've no objection to changes--'advances'--being made to the UI, it's MS's enforcement of these changes for the sake of its corporate one-look policy that's the issue. It reminds me of limited product availability under communism or Henry Ford's 'You can have any color you want so long as it's black*' policy but this is what happens when you have a monopoly, it's the normal hehaviour in absence of competition.
What amazes me is the complacency of the technical press, why the press hasn't screamed blue-murder over this I find amazing. If they had then Microsoft wouldn't have done Win 8 without compatible fallback features or it would have introduced two separate Win 8 products.
Anyway, as I said, we don't care anymore, it's the end of the line for Microsoft for us unless it pulls some magic out of Redmond's box. We'll keep XP until it rots (by using new industrial mobos that still accept XP drivers, and the occasional Win 7 on new laptops--but no Win 8 or 8.1). We're already expanding our Linux from servers and specialised uses such a CAD to desktops, we might even let in Macs (which would have been unthinkable a few years back)
The fact is by telling Microsoft to go root itself with respect to Windows and Office upgrades and ignoring its 2014 XP deadline (which already means nothing to us anyway) we've bought time to reorganize.
* This old saying was never quite true anyway, probably because Henry Ford, unlike Microsoft, did have real and effective competition.
Fine, except XP in VM, with or without net connectivity, can have IO problems with ports, depends on the hardware or arrangement being used. The fact is VM is great but not as good as native when doing rea-time IO & such (and it's significantly slower). And one's never sure when it's all going to go belly up.
(PS, I'm running XP VM now on this machine, this time under W7, other times it can be VMWare.)
Why don't users just ditch Windows 7 and get Windows 8.1 instead? Microsoft should phase out Windows 7 as quickly as possible, to get everyone onto the more secure, and superior system.
Why not ditch Microsoft all together for Linux
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