On February 12, 2008 Microsoft released the Windows Internet Explorer 7 Installation and Availability update to Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) marked as an Update Rollup package. Windows Internet Explorer 7 Installation and Availability Update is a complete installation package that will upgrade machines running Internet Explorer 6 to Windows Internet Explorer 7.
Desktops running Windows XP and IE 6 will get the update. Those running Windows Vista already have it. IE 7 is known for breaking web applications and web sites, and the reasons for both calamities are somewhat different. Security architectural changes, mainly around ActiveX controls, are the compatibility killer for many homegrown applications and for some web sites.
For IE 6, many Web site designers use a DOCTYPE, or Document Type Declaration, to open browser-specific pages or stylesheets. DOCTYPE was created with other rendering goals, but it has come to determine the browsers layout mode, mainly “quirks” or “standards.”
IE 6 is perhaps the most widely used quirky browser, and there are millions of Web pages that use DOCTYPE to load compatible code. Modern browsers like Firefox and even IE 7 use multiple rendering modes. Quirks mode emulates the behaviour necessary to run older code. Standards mode seeks to accurately render the XHTML/CSS code.
Given Microsoft’s browser standards problems in Europe and the upcoming standards problems some enterprises will encounter, it will take advantage of IE’s popularity, by letting web site development to cater to the dominant browser rather than to W3C standards. Microsoft and its customers suffered, because IE 6 limited how far designers could easily take the code and, later, when IE 7 broke the code.
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