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Stall your upgrade to Internet Explorer 8

Microsoft will be releasing the next version of IE soon, but you might want to hold off. If your organization relies on Web-based applications, you should make sure everything works with the new software before your clients upgrade.

Microsoft will be releasing the next version of IE soon, but you might want to hold off. If your organization relies on Web-based applications, you should make sure everything works with the new software before your clients upgrade.

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A lot of the industry talk speaks highly of Microsoft's next version of Internet Explorer. There are several new features, including private browsing, advanced screening of malicious Web sites and downloads, and a compatibility tool that allows the software to correctly render pages designed for older browsers. Microsoft will be distributing IE 8 via Microsoft Update as a recommended upgrade for all Windows users.

The only problem with this plan is that unless your tech team is centrally managing your Windows updates -- with Windows Server Update Service or Systems Management Server 2003, say -- the clients on your network might upgrade to the new software automatically. Unless you have tested all your critical Web apps to make sure that they will work with IE 8, you could be in for some user support nightmares. Nothing will screw up your clients' day like not being able to get their work done after an automatic update.

It probably won't be easy to roll back to IE 7 once the later version is installed, so better to keep it from getting applied until you are sure you're ready to support it. If you don't have WSUS or SMS in place, Microsoft has released a tool that can help you. They call it the Internet Explorer Blocker Toolkit, and it consists of an executable registry script (which can be run on any machine) and a template for Group Policy administrators. If you use the Blocker Toolkit, your machine won't apply the IE 8 upgrade as part of its automatic update schedule. If you have users on your network with admin accounts, though, be aware that IE 8 can still be applied with a manual visit to Microsoft's update site.

So, if you're worried about supporting IE 8 on your network, start your planning now. You can download the beta and start testing your applications, and then apply the IE Blocker if the upgrade is not for you.

45 comments
tomas
tomas

No complaints here. I love Microsoft! It's my biggest revenue generator and helps me earn a living by repairing client's self-inflicted and Microsoft-generated software issues. Keep up the good work Microsoft!

sujathasureshkumar
sujathasureshkumar

I am confused to update or not update... Also, I seek opinions about web 2.0 ss

davel
davel

Wow, and I thought this was a publication for Professionals. Slow news day, needed to think up a topic quick? You didn't even metion IE8's compatibility mode which during our preliminary testing was quite effective. Amatures....

mickames
mickames

The sooner they issue it the better. IE8 Beta 2 is a pain in the proverbial. It keeps going back to default settings and destroying all my personalised ones. It is virtually impossible uninstall it and roll back to IE7. But then, I am the sole user in this establishment ... Oh yes, and it keeps hanging at the most inconvenient times.

Musturd Breath
Musturd Breath

I've had the beta running now with updates for over two months and IE locks with error reporting constantly. I installed Firefox on its own quick start and immediately switch when I get the errors in IE8. If I am planning on doing something online I don't want interupted, I use the Firefox. Also, IE8 has a "compatability" button, and it there is no pattern to which web sites you have to use it on. In other words, some web sites work sometimes without compatability mode, other times not. IE8 still needs lots of work .. don't upgrade if you can avoid it.

jasonemmg
jasonemmg

I will not be installing IE8. I personally use Firefox on my PC at home and office.

bkoelrich
bkoelrich

I read your article about being wary of Internet Explorer 8 in a business environment. How is Internet Explorer 8 for home, IBM-environment, desktop PC users in terms of being "ready" to use/download, and bug free, since it's moved forward from beta to final form?

richard.ots
richard.ots

We're entering uncharted territory here! Who ever came up with that -crazy- idea! That would positively take all the fun out of being in IT! I guess what I'm trying to say is: DUH!!

williamjones
williamjones

Every tech has his or her software preferences, but there are also business needs to be considered. Which one is the best fit for your organization? If Internet Explorer is the default browser on your network, are you going to jump on IE 8, or are you considering using the IE Blocker tool described in my post for this week?

Musturd Breath
Musturd Breath

Don't do it until you have to. Does not run well just yet. Or better ... use Firefox. 3.0.5 is great.

XnavyDK
XnavyDK

make a test vm and have at it. If it works on a vm within your test env should be good to go. of course out in the wild it will be bombarded with everything known to man and hacker and the infamous "user" :::shudders:::

Musturd Breath
Musturd Breath

I think prima donna describes you well, mr proffessional ??

Musturd Breath
Musturd Breath

Works when it has to, but very unreliable ... some sights previously OK without c/mode seem to need it sporadically .. Amatures ??? Is this coming from an immature ? Don't be condecending dude ... you come off thinking you're super tech. Your customers must love calling you.

XnavyDK
XnavyDK

must be a MS employee? or maybe you are the amateur. Look at history, every time there is a "new" from MS they use the field as a test bed for stuff they have not thought of could happen. Sand boxing new stuff is prudent in some environments and valid in 99% of "new" apps, read some of the posts kid, some folks use IE6 still for valid reasons. Heck even MS prepared a blocker for it... speaks volumes. No need to be a pinhead about it. I love pinheads personally, they make great pets.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I know a real Professional like yourself would know how to use a spell checker.

PCTS4YOU
PCTS4YOU

I am running Win 7 with IE8 and giving feedback.

sgthomas
sgthomas

It does have it's problems (what MS program doesn't?)but I've been running it equally as long as you have and there's one thing I can guarantee...Firefox will 'crash' 6:1 compared to it. In fact, Firefox crashes on me everytime I get the urge to use it. Yes...it's 'up-to-date'!!! All in all, I've had little problem with IE8 and the few times it's crashed, it simply restores itself with no input from me...and it does so automatically.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

"I've had the beta running now with updates for over two months and IE locks with error reporting constantly. ... IE8 still needs lots of work..." Of course it still needs work; it's a beta. It's SUPPOSED to crash and error report. That's the purpose of a beta. if you don't want to do the product testing, don't download an beta product.

blarman
blarman

Many sites use ActiveX controls. Almost every ActiveX control is built for that specific version of Internet Explorer and won't function in newer ones. I strongly advise allowing your various site vendors a chance to upgrade those controls before you venture into unknown territory. Of course, you can always take the plunge and then use FireFox, Safari, Opera, etc. until those broken websites get fixed!

sgthomas
sgthomas

I've been using the Beta personally since it came out and have yet to encounter a problem!

rpr.nospam
rpr.nospam

MS should enable new IE coexists with an old one so that users can use both: old IE for sites not compatible with the new IE features, new IE when they want new features. This is probably hard to achieve in current Windows design (XP, 2003, Vista). What about 2008 and Windows 7?

Zengeek
Zengeek

That's why we're still at IE6 on our corporate desktops. Many vendors certified their Apps for IE6, but will only support the newer browsers if we upgrade to the latest version of their apps. We'll get there eventually, but it's costing millions to upgrade our corporate apps. Who said web-based apps would make life easier (no thick client to deploy to the desktop)? Maybe web-based apps should be designed more generically so as not to be browser-specific.

csmith.kaze
csmith.kaze

I don't know. during slow months, i throw out updates just see how the cards fall :) my last job did a company wide update to sp3 without testing and borked about 500 machines.

blarman
blarman

... is that Microsoft always makes core OS changes along with any new version of IE. Those upgrades ALWAYS break something - legacy applications, ActiveX controls in existing software, browser integration, etc. Nope, I have issued an advisory to all users to install the blocker and NOT upgrade until further notice. We'll wait at least a year for our vendors and internal applications testing to verify compatibility before we allow users to upgrade.

al
al

I'll be putting it through testing in a sandbox environment for quite awhile before it get's to my clients. Thanks for the heads up and the link. (Interesting that MS is putting out a "blocker" themselves. Best indication of "look at me close" that I've ever received.)

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Anybody got a good guess as to the IE8 release date? Say, something within a two-week window?

Prana7
Prana7

Welcome to IT world. I will not install the IE 8 for my organization. I rather wait for 6 months or 1 year. I will jump into Google Chrome or Fire Fox. -- I am going to block the IE 8 for now.

Jaqui
Jaqui

the ONLY browser worth using naturally. :p

andrejakostic
andrejakostic

Is there any reason why not to upgrade to IE8 if you are using Firefox?

Musturd Breath
Musturd Breath

Don't forget he's a Super Tech ... bow and show respect !!

Musturd Breath
Musturd Breath

Since this posting there was a more polished release of IE8, which I can say has improved ten fold. I have not had many, if at all, problems with the latest Firefox though. All in all, when /if I get booted from one (crash) I just go to the other. I do like the way both open up, or give you the option to do so, to the last session if it craps out.

Musturd Breath
Musturd Breath

Have YOU ever tried going back to a previous version of IE (insert any #) ?? You need a blow torch and a map. I know what I'm doing, and if it was a crash here and there, yea of course its a beta. But right now it sux ... its shit ... beta or otherwise.

sgthomas
sgthomas

Under 'Tools'...there is 'Compatibility View' and, of course. the 'Compatibility Settings', which enables you to insert websites that aren't compatible.

wolfshades
wolfshades

I love new words like these! Thanks Christian. Wonder how many other euphemisms for "f**ked up" there are out there. Oh - and just to stay on topic - I'm trying out Win7 at home, which comes with IE8 preinstalled. So far - I've noticed that the use of flash 9 and 10 causes my machine to bork big-time - whenever there's an attempt to go full-screen. Might try out earlier versions of flash.... I don't think it's the browser though - same condition happens in Firefox.

rball
rball

We are too - many of the large hospital organizations we interface have portals with applets that not only require a very specific (and old) version of Java to work but - surprise surprise - IE 6 to work and nothing else. So often we have a user who updates without permission and it breaks things. Since we have a Windows 2000 domain still, we cannot run that service to control update pushes (I read that it requires 2003). I sure hate how Microsoft forces everything on everybody without looking at real-world issues such as these.

rkuhn040172
rkuhn040172

Why would you say to wait 6 months to a year for IE 8 but yet you would "jump" into Chrome when it isn't 6 months to a 1 year old yet? Sounds like bias to me. Any browser, whether Mozilla, Google or Microsoft (or others) should be thoroghly tested for business application compatibility regardless of your own personal bias for or against a product or company.

csmith.kaze
csmith.kaze

you know, it is interesting to try, but using it is a pain in the ass. and i have to deal with enough of those without thrusting a new one on myself purposely.

MeezerW
MeezerW

We 'tested' for about 2 weeks & had all the issues and more. It became productively illogical & I opted to remove & revert back to IE7. It was a piece of cake using method & advice from this MS site: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/957700 Every (Vista) machine immediately went back to 7 -- but BE AWARE, you need to immediately run updates to bring it up to current patches. Hope this helps.

rkuhn040172
rkuhn040172

Why would you put it on a production machine?

john3347
john3347

I am also experimenting with Windows 7 and IE 8 betas and I am experiencing quite a bit of instability, but I don't know how to determine with certainty whether the problem is Windows or IE. The freezes only seem to occur while online. I would not install IE 8 on a critical computer until this problem is identified and corrected. I made this mistake recently with SP3. Big mistake!!!

Old-Fart-IV
Old-Fart-IV

Back in the 90's, we used FORKED for the computer verb form of FUBAR. Plus if there was any smoke from the machine, we used "Zorched" (zapped and scortched" How times have changed ... ;)

rkuhn040172
rkuhn040172

That the script and registry edit could be modified for Windows 2000. The setting is simple. The location is probably just slightly different and/or different switches.

Jaqui
Jaqui

really? why? it's simple to use. the pain in the ass is the f|_|cknuts web designers who insist on using javascript and table layouts or images instead of using standards compliant divs to layout the sites. [ poke at TR there, on all 3 counts, tables, images and javascript for it. ]

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