The Bumpy Road to Internet Explorer 7.0
The Bumpy Road to Internet Explorer 7.0
BOSTONId 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.
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.
"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.
And Then, Things Went
One screen tells me that the system is now running the Microsoft Malicious Software Removal Tool. I wonder, is this a tool to remove malicious software developed by Microsoft? I guess that could be a growth business.
A later screen informs me that Im getting IE required updates and later still Im getting the IE core components. The clock is still ticking. At 2:16, Im told to restart my system. This is where the install starts to go downhill fast.
Im not a labbie, but Ive installed a lot of software. I know to shut everything down before I start installing and I know that hitting the restart rather than a complete shut-down is not a good idea on a new installation. It seems the gremlins always lurk in the system unless the system gets shut down cold.
But if it says restart, then that is what I will do, along with probably a few million other users. It seems to be working. At 2:21, it tells me it is setting up my personalization settings.
The browser finds an Internet connection and heads over to http://runonce.msn.com and my trusty laptop freezes hard. At 2:28, this system is frozen harder than Lake Winnipesauke in January. There is no command from the start menu nor the three fingered control/alt/delete salute that will unfreeze my suffering ThinkPad. I hit the hardware reset button and wait.
At 2:33 the reset takes hold, but the system cant seem to get past bootup. At 2:36 I hit the shutdown button and take the system out of the docking station. I think that a new version of IE, the interaction with XP and the docking station duties were simply overwhelming my ThinkPads brain.
This may not sound like the best computer science, but it worked. I took the system out of the docking station, hit the start-up button and finally was able to boot to Windows and put the system back in the station.
Now to try IE. I got the following message on my screen:
Internet Explorer cannot display the webpage
Most likely causes:
What you can try:
Check your Internet connection. Try visiting another Web site to make sure you are connected.
Retype the address.
Go back to the previous page.
But I was connected to the Internet. I know that because my ever reliable IBM access connections wizard told me I was cooking along at 100M bps.
The IE browser seemed to be trying to find that Microsoft start-up page again and was failing with each attempt. OK, I figured it was a busy server day in Redmond and went for my ever reliable www.eweek.com.
And there it was, my home page in all its glory and only 40 minutes after starting the install. I shut down IE and went back to Firefox.
But, dont worry Bill and company, I will be back to try IE 7 again when I have a little more time on my hands.
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