Thursday, January 8, 2009

Beware IE 8 Imminent Release

If you’ve read my blog over the last few months, you know I’m quite impressed with IE8. It’s faster, more robust, and offers cool features like web slices and privacy mode.

That said, I don’t like Microsoft pushing a new browser on me as part of their Windows Update mechanism. While I know that a new browser is not a critical update, and usually choose to defer the installation, 99% of Windows users just wake up one morning with a new browser installed, and with old/older web applications not functioning.

Microsoft just released a “Toolkit to Disable Automatic Delivery of Internet Explorer 8”, which suggests the release is imminent. If your work cycle does not depend on any JAVA/ActiveX based web applications, then update, by all means. If you still need access to your IE 7 or IE 6 (or, God forbid, IE 5), make sure you change your Windows Update configuration to "Download updates but let me choose whether to install them" and make a decision about installing it later.

PS: IE 8 includes a “compatibility mode” that you can turn on, if any site becomes unreadable. It effectively turns IE 8 to IE 7 (doesn’t go back to 6 though, so JAVA apps are still screwed up, due to MS stopping JAVA support).

PPS: just installed the latest beta of Windows 7. It seems to have a newer version of IE 8. I’ll report on the beta at a later post.

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