Will Internet Explorer 7 cure everything that ails me? EVERYTHING?
October 31, 2006 11:57 AM   Subscribe

Predict the adoption rate of IE7 for this beleaguered web developer.

I don't really know how things work in the Windows world. Will IE7 get pushed out with some future update, making it instantly ubiquitous? Will people adopt it at their own pace? Will large corporations/institutions/whatever that enforce a homogeneous desktop environment stay frozen at IE6 for the time being?

And does 7 actually fix all the weird CSS idiosyncrasies, bad .PNG support, and litany of other complaints that furrow my otherwise beatific countenance? Will it "render" me headache-free, har har nerd pun?
posted by sonofslim to Computers & Internet (20 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Will it "render" me headache-free, har har nerd pun?

This is still Internet Explorer we're talking about here, right? O.o
posted by trevyn at 12:02 PM on October 31, 2006

It should be pushed out in an 'automatic update' in a few weeks, making it ubiquitous for home use. Many large corporations/universities are blocking it, though ... but I have no hard numbers to back this up, just my grapevine. It'll be catch as catch can.

And why don't you download it yourself and see what your sites look like?
posted by SpecialK at 12:04 PM on October 31, 2006

Adopting will increase after Vista comes out, as everyone on Vista will be on IE7. Yes, I expect a large number of people will adopt Vista. However, I expect IE 6 will hang on longer than IE 5 did, until some huge feature gets patched into IE 7 that no one can live without.
posted by GuyZero at 12:29 PM on October 31, 2006

IE7 WILL be pushed out on automatic updates.

Large corporations will be slower to push it, but eventually, IE6 will be pretty much gone. (except for those on Win2k and older)

I'd even fathom that it will slow or even take back some of Firefox's share. I know many people that use both IE6 and Firefox and would be content just using IE7.
posted by mphuie at 12:39 PM on October 31, 2006

Awhile back, I heard Nov 1 (tomorrow!) for the auto-update. Not sure if that still holds.

My university is blocking it.

At any rate, it looks like it will very soon be ubiquitous enough to worry about. Perhaps not a bad time to become an expert in "upgrading" existing sites?
posted by treepour at 12:40 PM on October 31, 2006

I just downloaded IE7 through auto-update today. I did have the IE7 beta installed, though, so maybe that was the cause. Actually installing the thing, interestingly enough, was not automatic: Windows presented me with a dialog box strongly suggesting that I "upgrade," though it did leave me the option. The box looked just like what is shown here: IE7 to be distributed via Automatic Updates.

IE7's standards support is supposed to be better than IE6, but still far from perfect.
posted by profwhat at 12:52 PM on October 31, 2006

"Will IE7 get pushed out with some future update, making it instantly ubiquitous?"

IE7 is being pushed as a critical security update. Most large organisations will defer the update until at least the Vista launch because a) you never deploy MS stuff day one, b) it reduces work to lump Vista and IE training and rollout to a single occurance and c) IE7 doesn't work with many core applications (EG: we're a heavy MS shop and better than 50% of our core applications don't fully function with IE7)
posted by Mitheral at 1:48 PM on October 31, 2006

Because of its security features, most people will adopt it sooner or later. Those who don't know what security is will get it via automatic updates tomorrow (i.e. November 1) whether they like (or know) it or not. Smart users will, of course, use Firefox. This means 80+% usage by the end of the year.
posted by TheRaven at 1:54 PM on October 31, 2006

IE7 doesn't look, to my eyes, to be much of an improvement, although I'm not going to be able to tell you the specifics others can. For what it's worth, Microsoft still charges $35 per product-support call. Also:

sonofslim: "I don't really know how things work in the Windows world."

They don't.
posted by koeselitz at 2:06 PM on October 31, 2006

I wish I knew how to uninstall IE7 now.
posted by koeselitz at 2:08 PM on October 31, 2006

Koeselitz: Go to Control Panel > Add or Remove Programs. Pick Windows Internet Explorer 7 from the list and uninstall it. Reboot, and IE6 will have returned. You will still have the ability to reinstall IE 7 if you so choose.
posted by SpecialK at 2:17 PM on October 31, 2006

Of course IE7 will not cure everything. You can get it now from many sources including Yahoo, CNet, etc.
I happen to like it. I am not a power user but I like the clean look of the page. It has some good features. And I find it executes faster than IE6 for some reason. I also use FireFox at times and can see little difference. The scuttlebutt is that IE7 is more susceptible to being breached. I don't have a problem with it.
posted by JayRwv at 3:01 PM on October 31, 2006

I don't have data for this, but I expect that a very large chunk of users will update within a few months, but adoption will taper extremely quickly after that. I personally expect at least 20% of the browsing public to be using IE6 for several years to come, enough to make it impossible for most sites to rely on IE7's improved CSS support.
posted by gsteff at 3:06 PM on October 31, 2006

There'll be various stages of adoption. You've got the home users who'll get it very soon as a critical update, corporates who'll take a while, those who'll simply get it with their next computer, and the people who don't bother to upgrade anything. It's going to be a bumpy, stepped curve, and it's hard to predict with any accuracy thanks to it being the first major IE update for five years.

IE7 has various rendering improvements (including better PNG support), but I don't think web developers should be looking to abandon IE6 for quite a while yet. We're only just reaching a point where completely ditching IE5.x is acceptable for some projects, which is perhaps a more significant transition for CSS layout (box-model hacks RIP).
posted by malevolent at 3:13 PM on October 31, 2006

SpecialK: First, Internet Explorer is not, nor has it ever been, on the "add/remove" list on my computer. Second, I want to get rid of IE completely. And that's almost impossible, from what I can tell.
posted by koeselitz at 3:26 PM on October 31, 2006

IE7's standards support is supposed to be better than IE6, but still far from perfect.

My experience so far: the combination of improved support for CSS selectors but still incomplete CSS support will cause you headaches, because the easiest selector-based filters will break. Essentially, until IE 6 end-of-lifes, you will have yet another browser to support.

As for a timeline: I think you'll see IE split to half 6 and half 7 very quickly, within months (if not weeks) of the update. Cautious adopters will follow 6 months to a year, bringing it to between 2/3 and 3/4. Non-adopters will trail until they buy new hardware with Vista on it.
posted by weston at 3:49 PM on October 31, 2006

Response by poster: /me gnashes teeth

thanks for the reality check. cursed IE!
posted by sonofslim at 6:07 PM on October 31, 2006

Another important fact: IE7 works ONLY on Windows XP and above (see the official sysreqs). I'm sure there are still plenty of people out there running older versions of Windows on old PCs, as I still have a lot of friends and acquaintances call me up asking for help with their Windows 98 or Windows ME. And aside from that I think that even a fair number of developers may be running Windows 2000 Professional, or Windows 2000 Server. These people will be unable to install IE7 until they upgrade their OS.

What really sucks is that you can't install IE6 and IE7 on the same computer at the same time, which makes testing a pain. For now, I have Firefox 2.0 and IE6 on my laptop, while I run Firefox 1.5 and IE7 on my desktop, for maximum testing spread.
posted by Vorteks at 10:45 PM on October 31, 2006

I'm going to keep IE6 for a while and try Jon Galloway's IE7 Standalone launcher (more discussion here).
posted by ceri richard at 10:51 PM on October 31, 2006

According to this short study there are many sites that need to be updated so they can be rendered correctly.
posted by a. at 4:54 AM on November 1, 2006

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