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:
- 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.
- 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
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
- read their list of areas and extend of issues, determine
- status & timeline of IE7 support, for what version of
- users of end-of-life (EOL) versions will be forced to
- Forward us such correspondence and schedule appointment
- Coordinate with your overall IT upgrade policies, cycle and
- 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.