The Bumpy Road to Internet Explorer 7.0

By Eric Lundquist  |  Posted 2006-10-19 Print this article Print

Opinion: A strange journey to installing Microsoft's Internet Explorer 7.0 led me to a frozen land.

BOSTON—Id read the reviews of Microsofts Internet Explorer 7.0 and even the eWEEK analysts liked it. I decide that no longer should I only be loyal to Firefox, that Ill forgot all those creepy viruses that used to sneak on my computer from IE and Ill download and upgrade to Microsofts new version of its Internet browser.

First, I go to Firefox to download the new rev of IE. The kind folks at Microsoft ask me to click on my operating system, which I know is XP Service Pack 2, and start the download.
Two minutes later and 14.8MBs richer, Im ready. In this most scientific of tests I take a look at the little clock on my ThinkPad x40. Its 2:02 p.m. EST.
Okay, time for a tiny Microsoft quiz before I give you the minute by minute. Did Microsoft invent the Internet? No. Did they even think the Internet would be a big deal? Yes, but only after a bunch of other companies including Netscape were way ahead in the game. What was the name of the first browser from Microsoft? And I quote here exactly from Wikipedia (which I often find more accurate than any other source), lest anyone accuse me of plagiarizing, "After unsuccessfully trying to license the Netscape Navigator browser, Microsoft turned to Spyglass and their Mosaic. In 1995, Microsoft licensed Mosaic from Spyglass as the basis of Internet Explorer 1.0, which was released as an add-on to Windows 95 in the Microsoft Plus! software package. The deal stipulated that Spyglass would receive a base quarterly fee for the Mosaic license plus a royalty from Microsofts Internet Explorer revenue. End of quote and end of history except to say it wasnt really until IE 3.0 that Microsoft both shook off most of the Spyglass underpinning and had a strong competitive browser. Wait, whats this on my screen? My first experience with the upgraded Microsoft genuine Windows validation, anti-piracy, no free Windows in my house program? Yes, the screen tells me that the kindly install program must validate your (as in my) copy of Windows before installing IE 7. Im told that "you must verify that your copy of Windows is genuine," but I also receive a message that if Im busted, Microsoft will not send the cops to door immediately. Is IE 7 a more secure browser? Click here to read more. "Microsoft will not use the information collected during the validation process to identify or contact you." Well thanks a lot Officer Gates. That warning alone will probably create more Firefox users than any other feature. Of course I am a simple corporate user with the papers to prove it, so Im happy to click on the validate button. I pass muster. The system is still cranking along at 2:07 but five minutes is not bad and so far no bumps. Im moderately entertained by the Microsoft messages. Next Page: And then, things went downhill fast.

Since 1996, Eric Lundquist has been Editor in Chief of eWEEK, which includes domestic, international and online editions. As eWEEK's EIC, Lundquist oversees a staff of nearly 40 editors, reporters and Labs analysts covering product, services and companies in the high-technology community. He is a frequent speaker at industry gatherings and user events and sits on numerous advisory boards. Eric writes the popular weekly column, 'Up Front,' and he is a confidant of eWEEK's Spencer F. Katt gossip columnist.

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