back to article MS drops nagware validation for IE7 installs

Microsoft has dropped the requirement for Windows XP users to go through Windows Genuine Advantage validation in order to get Internet Explorer 7. The move, delivered via a software update on Thursday, means even users of pirated copies of Windows can take advantage of Microsoft's latest browser software. For the rest of us …


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  1. James Dennis

    Also Good for MSDN Users

    Now MSDN users creating a test machine will no longer have to use up an activation to install IE 7.

  2. Mo

    As a web developer…

    …they couldn't have done this too soon.

    Sure, IE 7 is buggy as hell, doesn't support all manner of things that are useful, and the whole IE development cycle is about ten times slower than the rest of the web development world, but compared to developing for IE 6 it's a breath of fresh air.

    The stats I get from sites we run suggest that IE 6 and IE 7 have roughly equal market share right now, which is quite impressive. Hopefully this will tip the 6/7 balance firmly in 7's favour. It would be ideal if everybody used Firefox, Opera or Safari, but failing that… IE 7 will do.

  3. Michael Habel Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    M$ can keep there I-nfection E-xploiter 7

    About the only thing it [Infection Exploiter], is good for is come on "Patch Tuesday's", where I'm actually forced to fire it up to d/l said "Updates".

    Oh yeah and that One oddball Website that fails to properly render under Firefox

    Personally I'd like to kill the dolt that created that GUI under IE7, in a word it, ahhh.... I believe sucks is the proper Word here...

  4. leslie

    emmm it smells fishy..

    wonder why they want us to be able to download it.........

    Not that M$ would ever put spyware on a users machine, or collect information without consent.............

    Can you hear them hovering overhead.........

  5. ryan


    herpes* may not be desirable, but it's a damn sight better than syphilis**



  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    MS Worried by Firefox catching them?

    Cynical minds ponder...

    I broke a personal best for how long a piece of software lasted on my xp machine - I installed it, ran it - looked at it - thought this is shite - closed it - uninstalled it.

    I think having my testicles fired at with a nail gun is more likely to happen than me using IE ever again.

    Will MS EVER get it?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    "IE7 comes bundled with Vista"

    It does? So, when I "buy" a copy of IE7, I get a copy of Vista thrown in at no extra charge?

    Oh dear, I'll DEFINITELY stick with Firefox in that case! They'll have to come up with a far better idea than foisting Vista on people for free.

    Hmmm, maybe if they pay people £200 to take it away, they'll get some custom?

  8. Stuart Harrison
    Thumb Up

    Exciting news

    I echo Mo's sentiments, as a web designer / developer, the sooner IE6 and its buggy CSS rendering is dead, the sooner my life can be made a hell of a lot easier!

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No WGA = Pirate is flawed logic

    I've continued to refuse installation of WGA, and while I know that prevented me from getting some worthless updates, now I see it also means I'm a pirate.

  10. bigfoot780
    IT Angle

    Windows 2000

    Any chance of IE7 being avalible for Win 2k? For a large amount of people who use it.

  11. Patch Tuesday

    nice emotitags....

    there short term for a laugh, huh?

    ....I hope so.

  12. Tharglet

    I see unwanted updates...

    Wondered why it popped up as a download again, despite blocking it the first time around.

    If they make IE7 look like IE6, I might download it. But even that won't stop me using Firefox 99% of the time.

    Most of the time I spend in IE is testing stuff, more than anything else...

  13. N
    Thumb Down

    Insecure Explorer

    Anyone with any sense uses FireFox these days,

    As for WGA its a complete pain in the a**e, when will Microsoft do anything for the users who fit into the category of:

    "I have a legitimate COA but the authentication rejects it" ?

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    too late Bill... Ubuntu rocks !!!

    sorry m8, I installed Ubuntu in July, and never looked back. Having just installed the Linux Citrix client, I can work from home with Linux now.

    I can honestly say I don't miss XP one bit.

  15. Joe

    At last!

    Soon, worrying about using alpha transparent PNGs will be a thing of the past!

  16. The Mighty Biff
    Jobs Horns

    Ooo ! I like these icon thingies

    Must play with icons...

    Oh yes. And I haven't had any bad experiences with IE7.Yet. Or IE6 for that matter. Or ever got a virus, unless you count the version of Vista that came preinstalled on my nice new machine. It was nice to see XP again...

    Oo. Icons !

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    Adequacy Vs. Utopia

    I agree with Mo. IE7 is largely adequate when it comes to making real world websites, though a few awkward annoyances remain. I'd still rather everyone was using Opera, Safari or Firefox of course because there are still nice things you have to skip over, but there's still a difference between being adequate and being a horrible mess (like floats in IE4 or styling inline elements in IE5.0 etc). My one and only gripe about Safari is that a line-height bug that's been around for ages. I hope it's fixed in version 3.

    I'm really not holding my breath for IE8. It's not going to be any kind of rendering rival to the others because browsing websites is only one aspect of IE as far as MS are concerned. The main thing for them is to improve their various development platforms that rely on IE thus keeping companies locked into ASP for their websites, intranets or even the GUIs for their programs.

    It makes me laugh when they say they don't have the resources to correct things that already work properly in Opera - who could be bought and sold a million times over by MS, and probably have fewer employees around the world than MS have in many of their individual offices. As a rule of thumb, I interpret any excuse involving time or manpower as a cover for something more strategic.

    Still, at least it was Bill and not Steve, eh?

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    @Michael Habel

    Thank you, thank you -- you took the words from my mouth!

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Re: Insecure Explorer

    "Anyone with any sense uses FireFox these days,"

    That rules out your average punter then, and believe me Firefox is not as perfect as its made out to be although it is still streets ahead of IE7.

    Don't get me wrong, Firefox is by Browser Of Choice[tm] on both my Linux and Windows boxes, but it still has the capability to throw a few surprises out of left field even on code with properly validated XHTML and CSS (the "Web Developer" and "FireBug" extensions are absolutely invaluable here - if you don't use them, run, don't walk, to the Mozilla website and download them)

    Of course it doesn't help that the stuff I'm doing has to be broken by design on account of it being aimed squarely at corporate users, and guess which browser they're likely to use ...

  20. David Wilkinson

    Despite true intentions, its a good move.

    IE6 is dangerously insecure, and compromised computers are very useful to those looking to create trouble via the internet.

    Even Firefox users have to occasionally use IE for some websites. (FYI IE-Tab lets you run IE inside a Firefox window on such occasions)

    Whether Microsoft's true motives, its in everyone's best interest for everyone running XP to have access to the latest security updates and the most secure web browser.

  21. Sceptical Bastard

    Can someone tell me...

    ...WTF is an "entire Windows ecosystem"? Since when has bloody software been a community of animals, plants, and bacteria in an inter-related physical environment? Unless you regard the droids at Redmond as bacteria?

    As for the comment: "....users of knock-off Microsoft software are likely to purchase Windows software and applications over time..." I have to maintain at least one home machine running Windows (compatibility with clients) and over the years I've run everything from 3.11 through 9xx to W2K and XP. But I can lay my hand on my heart and say I have never - and will never - pay a penny for any Microsoft product. It's all been knocked off. Oh, except the excellent 'Natural' MS-branded keyboard I bought cheap in 1998 (and which I'm still using).

    And while I'm in 'WTF' mode, why the fuck have you Vultures introduced those puerile icons? Not a Paris Hilton angle among them!

  22. Mike Lovell
    Dead Vulture


    > herpes* may not be desirable, but it's a

    > damn sight better than syphilis**


    > *ie7


    > **ie6

    It is??? I'd rather have syphilis, it's curable!

    Each to their own I suppose

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Re: Can someone tell me...

    "And while I'm in 'WTF' mode, why the fuck have you Vultures introduced those puerile icons? Not a Paris Hilton angle among them!"

    You're not looking hard enough ...

  24. SpitefulGOD
    Gates Halo


    I really don't get the hype on Firefox, it renders slower than IE7 (from what I have used anywho), and it really doesn't feel classy enough, but I'm sure the masses of turds (yes that's what you are) know better. Damn peasant revolt.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Adblock + scriptblock + flashblock

    That's why I use it.

  26. SpitefulGOD
    Gates Halo

    @Anonymous Vulture

    What no SLBlock... Stay off the porn and serial crack sites, I only use Firefox to test website developments, I once got an email off some tit telling me one of my sites didn't work in some obscure browser so I've had to test since. A waste of time in my book, bring back the days when anti-competitiveness multinational conglomerate could crush the little crappy people without governments butting in. I much prefer suits to scruffy bearded open source tramps anyhow.

  27. Glenn Gilbert
    Dead Vulture

    Desparate measures to keep market share?

    Is it a desperate measure for MS to keep their market share in browsers? Goodness knows why; IE7 is the evil bastard son of the recalcitrant village idiot. It's learned to do some things, but still shows its breeding, or lack thereof.

    Why do web developers hate IE? Because it shares more in common with a Dysan than a standards-compliant browser. Developing websites for IE6 and 7 is like whack-a-mole; fix a Microsoft bug (sorry "feature") in one and up pops another.

    As for Firefox; it's reliable, doesn't support ActiveX, has some trully USEFUL addins (which are completely missing from exploder), is secure, and has a decent UI.

    I've never understood why anyone would use IE out of choice; out of ignorance yes, but not choice.

    Just how many security breaches must the world suffer before this abomination is put out of its misery. For goodness sake put it in a sack and toss it into a river.

  28. Sean Nevin

    re: fishy

    They probably filled the non-WGA version with all sorts of crippleware to keep it from working properly, leave you vunerable to all sorts of nasty internet sites, and generally screw up your system... hmm...

    On the other hand, maybe they *did* release the normal one...

  29. Jeffrey Nonken
    Dead Vulture

    You've got it backwards...

    "The move, delivered via a software update on Thursday, means even users of pirated copies of Windows can take advantage of Microsoft's latest browser software."

    Um, no. The pirates have no problem with this. It's legitimate users that are likely to have trouble validating.

  30. John
    Gates Horns

    IE logs and M$ lies

    Sure, firefox is better than IE6/7 for many many reasons, the main reason I dislike IE is the way it logs EVERY website you ever visit in a hidden file on your PC. Even if you delete your history from IE - every website you visit is logged.

    Have a look at c:\Documents and Settings\YOU\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5\index.dat

    Beware, your windoze computer will not acknowledge the existence of this directory!! All M$ products systematically lie to you about the content of your hard disk. You should be able to copy this file over to somewhere, or open it in your favorite text editor app. After you are shocked by the content of this file, you will be even more shocked to find that the only way to delete it is to reboot into safe mode with command prompt (and then you find that dos is in on the lie as well).

    To view what is really on your hard disk download and learn some unix.

  31. Matthew Sullivan

    Re: Desparate measures to keep market share?


    > As for Firefox; it's reliable, doesn't support ActiveX

    I don't run either Firefox or IE because they both support ActiveX. Though at least you can turn it off in Firefox without breaking the OS and just about everything else.

    / M

    (..and no I don't run Safari or Opera either..)

  32. calagan
    Paris Hilton

    WGA should be terminated altogether

    If they can't make it reliable, then they should just trash it.

    As far as IE7 is concerned, this won't help increasing their market share: Firefox is winning the battle and Safari on Windows is starting to become usable. (BTW, patch Tuesday works pretty with the IETab addon in Firefox)

    The major annoyance when WGA doesn't do its job, is when you unsucessfully attempt to update Windows Media Player and your windows box become completely mute.

  33. Billy

    Re: Just about everyone

    "Anyone with any sense uses FireFox these days,"

    Well that counts me out then - I've been using Opera since version 2. I was one of those who even used to pay for it! - and yes, it was worth it.

    I've never had any promlems with spam/virii/malware/u-name-it and it's had the "Adblock + scriptblock + flashblock" ability since about 1999, I think.

    Oh, and it's never crashed - more than can be said for Firefox.

  34. Kenneth Bradley-White


    From the linked IEBlog post:

    " can get it now from the Internet Explorer home page on, get a customized version from a third-party site..."

    Hehe, who knows - maybe someone will make a customised version that renders pages the way they're meant to be. *chuckles inwardly*

  35. Chris

    Dropped off of Windows/MS Update???

    It's strange, but is it just me or has it disappeared from MS/Windows Upadte. I've had to install 3 PC's in the past few days and none of them showed IE7 when I ran Microsoft Update.

    I know I can get it from the MS home page and lots of other places, but when it was on the built-in update site, why have they now removed it from there?

  36. Edgar Scrutton


    Many of us are forced to use IE because large vendors ie: Worldspan, Vacation Access and others are Microsoft houses that write their pages and 'applets' in ActiveX and/or MS_Java. If we want to do business with them (ie DO our business) we must speak their language. There is not much hope they will move to a Mozilla platform or even Sun Java.

    Therefore the following exerpts are explainable:

    " I've never understood why anyone would use IE out of choice; out of ignorance yes, but not choice." and " The main thing for them is to improve their various development platforms that rely on IE thus keeping companies locked into ASP for their websites, intranets or even the GUIs for their programs."

    Keeping them in IE sells Microsoft Winows either XP or Vista.

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