Why the mandatory IE7 upgrade was a bad idea

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For anyone who keeps their Windows XP machine set to automatically install updates, a few weeks ago they would have been surprised to see their Internet Explorer look different. The reason for this was that Microsoft set their new web browser, IE7, to be pushed out via Windows Update as a security fix / upgrade, which meant for anyone with their updates set to automatic that it happened without their knowledge. For many people this will be a welcome improvement - there's no denying that IE7 is better than IE6, but there are problems with the new browser that haven't been publicised very much and people are experiencing problems.

A telling article from Microsoft Watch details how many people have no trouble at all but others discover that many applications they've bought stop working. A good example of the conflict is intimated by "Rick Kuhn, an IT Specialist based in Indianapolis," where he doesn't have any "bloatware or crapware, only brand name vendors for software and hardware," which sounds great except that earlier on you discover that a recent version of the most popular CD/DVD burning software, Roxio Easy Media Creator, stopped working upon installing the update. While another person recommented to "do some research in regards to application compatibility before upgrading from IE 6 to IE 7," how much research is the average person going to be in able to do when the upgrade was forced upon them and only discovered the incompatibility afterwards?

In short, if your software is ubiqitous to the point that a large portion of 3rd party software requires it, and your new version is known to be incompatible with much of this software, don't force the upgrade on the masses - it's just common sense!

1 Comment

Isn't newer always better?

Isn't newer always better? :P

Considering the testing that Microsoft did, and the stuff they provide to any MSDN subscriber, Roxio has no excuse they did not issue an update prior to IE 7 being pushed into the wild.