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IE7 / SP3

by Dude37 / November 3, 2008 4:50 AM PST

Hello, I have IE6 and XPSP2, by choice, and was wondering if the bugs have been worked out in the 7 and SP3 yet, dont want them full of errors...


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Sorry no.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 3, 2008 5:20 AM PST
In reply to: IE7 / SP3

The errors remain. That is SP3 was never re-issued so what happens to those that had a problem last time should happen again!

Can you share what happened last time?

And just for clarity, a machine clean of malware and not that HP issue created by HP doesn't have that issue. Your post asked if they fixed SP3. Which the answer is no since the issue was not due to a MS gaffe.

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That depends
by Jimmy Greystone / November 3, 2008 5:37 AM PST
In reply to: IE7 / SP3

That depends, because you seem to have a mistaken impression that once software is launched, Microsoft is making little functionality tweaks here and there. They aren't, and they don't as a general rule, they save that all up for a new release.

Aside from security updates, IE7 is the same as it was when it launched. Which is to say better than IE6 in pretty much every area that counts (rendering accuracy for standards compliant HTML and security) but that's also not saying too much given just how bad IE6 was in those same areas.

SP3 is not some major refresh of the operating system like some people seem to think. Service packs are really just a big collection of security updates. Generally you try and put as few new features into a service pack as you can, because introducing new features into a stable product can introduce new bugs. It's something that should be installed, particularly if you're running around using IE6. But then maybe you like the thrill of being at greatly elevated risk of malware and other forms of attack.

There are two main problems faced by both service packs and new product releases. The first problem is people's general fear of change. People want everything to stay exactly the same, only be better, and hopefully you can see the inherent problem with that. Sometimes you have to screw up a few times before you figure out what works. And you can think that you will let other people be the testers for you, but what do you suppose would happen if everyone decided to wait for the other guy?

The second problem faced by service packs is that people seem to be under this mistaken impression that they are a refresh of the entire operating system. I suppose this whole idea got started with Windows98 Second Edition, but service packs are a whole other beast. Generally they're just a big collection of security updates. Often times, containing security updates not released outside the service pack. They might also contain minor behavior altering changes, like how XP SP2 limited the number of "half open" TCP connections a computer can have. This was designed to limit the effectiveness of self-replicating worms.

But the truth is, Microsoft doesn't really do operating system refreshes like that. Once a product reaches final "gold" status, that's it, they don't modify it. If you buy a copy of Windows 7 the first day it launches, and then buy another copy 6 months later, it will be the exact same thing on that disc. Sooner or later they work in the latest service pack, but it's indistinguishable from a system where you installed the "gold" release and then added SP2 or SP3.

So long story short, just install SP3, be sure you install all security related updates from Microsoft as soon as they're released, and stop using Internet Explorer. Even if you like the thrill of thinking someone could be stealing all kinds of sensitive information off your computer at any moment, it's irresponsible. Malware that latches onto IE like a barnacle can spew out all kinds of spam, cause a system to be part of DDoS attacks, or plenty of other things that make life difficult for the rest of us Internet users. And with the rise in SQL Injection attacks, a lot of the old bits of wisdom about only going to trusted sites, doesn't hold true anymore. ANY site could be booby trapped these days, and there's NO way of telling beforehand. A firewall won't protect you from this, nor will a lot of anti-virus programs. So be a responsible Internet user, and don't use Internet Explorer, or anything based on Internet Explorer, any more than you absolutely have to.

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OK thanks
by Dude37 / November 3, 2008 6:57 AM PST
In reply to: That depends

Thanks for the advice.... So install SP3 and dont use IE?? What do I use??? Firefox??? I have Firefox, but it seems slow... I'm REALLY thinking about dumping Microsoft completely and going to Apple, and the only thing holding me back is I barely can figure out MS, and dont have the patience to learn Apple... I just want the damn thing to work, and dont understand why that's such an odd request

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It's odd because
by Jimmy Greystone / November 3, 2008 7:39 AM PST
In reply to: OK thanks

It's odd because computers are not appliances that can simply be turned on and off. Not to mention companies like Microsoft are stuck between a rock and a hard place.

On the one hand there are people like you, wanting something that just works, but at the same time there's people clamoring for more and more features which adds to the overall complexity. If Microsoft made a new release of Windows that didn't really add any new features, it just was aimed at squashing bugs and optimizing Windows for performance as much as possible, no one would buy it. The computer press, like Cnet, would pan it because it doesn't have any new shiny features, users would balk for the same reason, and large corporate customers would likely look at it as offering them nothing of any real value if what they already have is working well enough.

So, until the computer users of the world make up their collective mind about whether they want simplicity or new features, you're going to have this problem.

But Firefox is one option you have. There's also Opera, Apple's Safari, and Google's Chrome. Even if they are seemingly slower than IE, doesn't it seem like a worthwhile tradeoff to NOT have to deal with malware and NOT have to constantly be looking over your shoulder? You still need to be wary of security concerns, but there aren't quite as many to be wary of with any of the non-IE or IE based bunch. If you ask me, it's more than an equitable tradeoff when I think about all the time and effort involved in cleaning up some particularly nasty malware.

You can keep hoping that some day computers will become like an appliance, and if this cloud computing nonsense takes hold, you might be that much closer. Of course technology tends to run in cycles, just like fashion. Cloud computing is just the latest evolution of the dumb terminal from the 70s. It will likely pass in 5-10 years for a resurgence of the stand-alone computer when people start to realize just how little control they have over their computers. Microsoft can literally force things on people, like program updates, and there's no opting out or rolling back. Not to mention they can cut you off at any time, rendering your computer completely useless. You can always hope, but I wouldn't go holding my breath. If you're lucky, devices like the iPhone and Blackberry will be able to take over most of what you need a computer for in the near future.

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