From the desk of: Sam C. Chan

Internet Explorer 7 Upgrade

November 15, 2006  (Addendum added below)

Now that IE 7 is officially released and incorporated into Windows update as default option, you need to be aware of the implications & consequences.

There are 2 main concerns: Performance and compatibility. The former is practically a non-issue, as there's little discernable difference between IE6 & IE7 in terms of hardware demand, unlike the previous upgrade from IE 5 to IE6. The real issues lie in the latter:

  1. Web site compatibility. IE 7 made significant changes in CSS implementation, which causes some old web sites to display tables and custom layouts incorrectly. The results range from minor cosmetic glitches, to completely impossible to navigate the site. Virtually all commercial sites had no such issues, as the minor redesign had already taken place during the long beta period. Many sites by individuals and small companies might not have the resources to keep up, and are relying on their visitors to report problems before they investigate.
  2. Application compatibility. This might come as a surprise to some. Many applications are actually dependent on IE for their navigational infrastructure, as well as core functions. A non-supported version of IE could render the applications unusable, even when you're not accessing the Internet.

Upgrade to IE7 is recommended, and in fact―mandatory. It's just a matter of time before all web sites and applications will be compliant with this new standard, and even require it. Meanwhile, if your critical vendors are holding you back, you would have to seek alternative solutions, or defer you upgrade, while your vendors catch up.

Your IE7 Deployment Checklist:

  • Make a list of all critical web sites.
  • Make a list of all critical applications.
  • Contact those vendors
    • request their official statement regarding IE7 compatibility
    • read their list of areas and extend of issues, determine applicability
    • status & timeline of IE7 support, for what version of their products
    • users of end-of-life (EOL) versions will be forced to upgrade
  • Forward us such correspondence and schedule appointment for discussions.
  • Coordinate with your overall IT upgrade policies, cycle and strategies.
  • Make provision for user training, to take advantage of many new features & adjust operating procedures to accommodate the new security restrictions & warnings.

As mentioned in the beginning, IE7 upgrade is automatic for the consumers and very small businesses without IT services. All corporate users and small businesses that are under formal IT control already had their automatic update disabled. Obviously, it's preferable to roll out IE7 in a controlled and coordinated manner, as opposed to reacting in surprise, and scramble to cope under stress, while business suffers.


December 28, 2006

IE7 compatibility issues for some of the most commonly used products are listed here:

QuickBooks: 2007 OK. 2006 & 2005 require free updates. 2004 not compatible and no support planned.

Microsoft just released a tool for blocking the automatic download/upgrading of IE7 for sites where patch management software is not employed and rely on automatic update. This tools has no expiring date (unlike the previous XP SP2 blocking tool). However, one should address the IE7 compatibility issues immediately and then upgrade ASAP.



Copyright @2005-2006   Bravo Technology Center  *  Bravo:GO  *  Contact Us