IEAK 7 Beta 3 is now available


I am happy to announce the Beta 3 release of Internet Explorer Administration Kit 7 [IEAK 7]. IEAK 7 allows enterprises, ISPs, ICPs, OEMs to create custom packages of IE7 on XP or IE7+ on Windows Vista. If you are looking to provide your IE7 users with your own default set of preferences, toolbars etc, read on.

Some of the common customization scenarios for IE7 are:

  • Customize your users’ IE7 with related home pages, feeds, etc. Create a version of IE 7 that has these values and make it available to your users.
  • Install a specific toolbar as part of the IE7 install.

With IEAK 7 Beta 3, you can do the above and more – You can set IE7 defaults, include your own custom components to be installed and create a package with the above customizations that can be made available to your users. IEAK 7 can generate both customized full downloads of IE7 for XP and small customization-only packages that can be applied on top of an existing IE7. IEAK also provides the ability to generate these packages for various languages that IE7 supports. For example, English IEAK 7 Beta 3 will also have the ability to package another language IE7 Beta 3. However we are also committed to releasing IEAK 7 itself in the various languages for which IE7 is available. IEAK 7 Beta 3 incorporates feedback received from Beta 2 users. You can now turn off the IE7 first run page and provide your own welcome page.

We listened to a lot of feedback and arrived at the following principles to enable customization of IE 7 while respecting user choice. These are:

  1. Customizations trump user settings. If a particular setting isn’t customized in the custom IE7 package being installed, then user settings prevail.
  2. Uninstall doesn’t change user settings.
  3. Installation of a customized IE7 results in applying those settings only once per user.
  4. If multiple customized instances of IE are installed, only the last customization remains.

With these principles, here are the answers to some common questions we get around IEAK:

  • What happens to my settings if I upgrade to a customized IE7?
    Customizations provided by the custom IE7 being installed get applied. If a particular setting isn’t customized, then that user’s existing setting remains. For e.g. If a user’s home page currently is set to http://blogs.msdn.com/ie and if the custom IE7 package doesn’t set this setting, then http://blogs.msdn.com/ie remains as the home page.

  • What happens to my settings if I upgrade from an already customized IE7 to IE7 from Microsoft?
    Current settings remain.

  • What happens to my settings if I upgrade from one custom IE7 to another?
    The new customizations take effect.

  • What happens if I uninstall a customized IE7?
    The current settings remain.

Want to create your own customized IE7 for your users? Even if you have already done it with Beta 2, now is the time to move onto Beta 3. Here is the link to IEAK 7 Beta 3: http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/ie/ieak7/default.mspx

Love to hear your feedback.

Srinivasulu Grandhi
Group Manager
IE ITPRO Team

Edit: Changed “IE 7” to “IE7” to aid in searching

Comments (60)

  1. Anonymous says:

    Some suggestions,

    – Favorities Center (Star Button) is not easy to locate for users

    – Why I can’t I read the feeds within my browser, why does it take each individuals sites to read the feeds, this just becomes a feed like collector, it should read allow you to read multiple feeds with the browser rather then user going to each individual feed.

    – There should be better integration with Windows Live Favorties, I should be able to search my favorite links with in the quick search area.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I cannot copy+paste an address into the maps.google.com. IE7 popsup a window with "Do u want to allow access to clipboard?". No matter if u say yes or not; this address is never pasted. Dont know if its IE bug or maps.google.com bug? But u might wanna take a look.

  3. Anonymous says:

    The new functionality in IEAK sounds great.  But this announcement reminds me once again how stupid it is to refer to the Vista release of IE 7 as IE 7+.  When I first read the second sentence of the announcement I was wondering why this was going to be supported in both IE 7 and future versions of IE on Vista but only in IE 7 on Windows XP.  Eventually I remembered that, contrary to its customary usage by Microsoft and throughout the industry, the plus in this case isn’t referring to higher numbered versions.  This type of misunderstanding is going to be repeated over and over and over if you go ahead with this naming scheme.  Please reconsider!

  4. Anonymous says:

    I want to suggest that the user doesn’t have to log out in order to change their Temporary Internet File and History Settings | Current Location.

    The user is still required to log out immediately in order for the changes to take effect. If the user doesn’t agree to this and click ‘OK’ the changes he just made are ignored… Do I need to comment on what I think of this? 😉

  5. Anonymous says:

    IE7b3 is running great! One suggestion:

    Why I cannot check

    Do not show me this dialog box again

    and

    Open these the next time I start Internet Explorer

    checkBoxes when I close IE?

    It would be nicer if it is possible.

    Cheers,

    McoreD

  6. PatriotB says:

    BradVoy — agreed.  Plus the fact that always saying "IE7+ on Windows Vista" is redundant since the + is supposed to imply Vista.

    What would it take for MS to reconsider the + ?  How much complaining do we have to do?

    Remember, once it’s released, it’s too late.  Fix this now, while you still can.

  7. Anonymous says:

    @Patriot8, BradVoy;

    Yup, you got my vote!

    I too, think that IE7+ is by far, *THE* worst name for a browser vertical *EVER*.

    Almost as bad as the Windows "Plus" packs, where you paid extra for the stuff that should have been included.

    + in the software world, means "this" version and above.

    If a site supports IE 5.5+ it means, 5.5, 6.0, 7.0, etc.

    I *HIGHLY* suggest MS reconsider this.

    it should be "IE7" period.

    You either have:

    IE7 on Windows XP

    or

    IE7 on Windows Vista

    Attempting to add a prefix/suffix to the abreviation is pointless, confusing, and of no help to anyone, since end users won’t know the difference, or even spot the plus.

    As someone that does tech support now and then, I come across this all the time.

    You learn to do "clever" tricks to decipher what a user has…

    Tech support: "Are you running Windows XP or 2000?"

    End user: "Uhm, I have no idea"

    Tech suport: "Is your Start button green?"

    End user: "Yes, it is!"

    Tech support: Note to self, user is on XP.

    PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE Scrap the plus!!!!!

  8. Anonymous says:

    I thought IE7+ was a trivial change.  Then I realized what they did.  Unless this is the final version of IE, IE7+ is a name set up for trouble.

    Also, I confirm Amar’s Google Maps problem.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I think mouse gesture is a must for a quality browser product. Opera has it, Firefox has it, IE doesn’t. There, one more reason not to use IE if you ask someone who knows the real deal about web surfing.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Still find that you can not Confirm File Delete when deleting a Links favourite using the mouse – you have to use the keyboard to do it. Is this going to be fixed?

  11. Anonymous says:

    One more vote (just in case it helps 😉 ):

    I agree totally with BradVoy, Patriot8, Stan and gamekid.

    I suggest naming the Vista version just that: IE7Vista. Anyone will understand it, no one will be confused.

  12. Anonymous says:

    When is the Korean version of IE 7 going to be released?

  13. Anonymous says:

    CSS positioning seems to be substantially better overall. The menu on http://www.w3.org/Style/CSS/ stays "fixed" properly, and the positioning of elements on my sites matches better with Firefox.

    RSS feed view looks very nice.

    The Quick Tab feature does seem useless. Reading the tab heading is usually enough for me to choose the tab I want.

    PNG alpha transparency does work (in case you haven’t heard).

    FOUC seems to be back: http://www.bluerobot.com/web/css/fouc.asp but most sites just use link rel which doesn’t suffer from FOUC.

    Sites that display rendering errors:

    http://digg.com: minor: when google ad header contains 3 ads, one of them gets knocked down a row and overlaps some junk

    http://finance.yahoo.com: minor: tiny overlapping of elements.

    http://www.umich.edu/news/research/story/networks.htm: significant: footer is positioned wrong and obscures article text

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/: significant: general screwed formatting

  14. Anonymous says:

    GIFs STILL do not animate with the correct frame duration.  The minimum frame time is too long, making GIFs like this:

    http://web01.genmay.net/userav/avatars/nato.gif

    stutter instead of animating smoothly (as in Firefox).

  15. PatriotB says:

    Jim — when seeing that a site doesn’t render properly in IE7, there are a few things to consider:

    – Did it render "properly" in IE6 (i.e. did something change in IE7 to break it, and if so, was the site previously taking advantage of bad IE6 CSS implementation?)

    – Does the site have a valid DOCTYPE and does it validate (validate.w3.org)?  Of your four sites, finance.yahoo.com has many validation errors, and http://www.msnbc.msn.com doesn’t have a DOCTYPE at all.  Those things must be fixed before blaming the browser.

    And regarding animated GIFs… somehow it wouldn’t surprise me if this is something that IE is doing to emulate old Netscape’s original behavior…

  16. PatriotB says:

    Jonny — the Korean version if IE7 will be released along with all other language versions when the final version is released sometime later this year.

    This blog really needs a FAQ…

  17. Anonymous says:

    It’s funny, but IE7 fails to render validate.w3.org properly. All other browsers can do it.

    Look at this page (bottom):

    http://validator.w3.org/check?uri=http://mev.fopf.mipt.ru/?get=pictures/wallpapers

    Styles are totally broken

  18. Hoopskier says:

    I agree with the above posters regarding the +.  I did a search on Connect to see if anyone’s actually filed a bug about it, but could not find anything (Connect doesn’t include the + symbol in searches — yet another reason to not include the +…)

    Anyways I went ahead and filed a bug.  To everyone who reads this blog and agrees regarding dropping the +, PLEASE VOTE for this suggestion!  Maybe with enough votes, someone with some power in the IE team will agree to make the change.

    https://connect.microsoft.com/IE/feedback/ViewFeedback.aspx?FeedbackID=168635

  19. Anonymous says:

    great site with good look and information…i like it

  20. Anonymous says:

    I’ve had no problems with IE7. Favorites are easy to find and I just don’t understand anyone who cannot find them. The site is good and feel is better than IE6. If people have problems I suggest they read release notes for IE7. They tell all the areas.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Joee JoNEs, if you don’t see problems, you have some eye problems. In this blog and on feedback page lots of people post lots of bugs. And lots of other people validate them.

    How come you cannot validate any bug? Did you try?

  22. Anonymous says:

    @Fduch: "IE7 fails to render validate.w3.org properly"

    This issue is resolved in post-Beta3 Release Candidate builds.

    @Eyn: There’s a very very nice plugin for mouse gestures.  See http://www.enhanceie.com/ie/essentials.asp.

    @Julian: The "file deletion" prompt bug should be fixed in later builds.

    @Amar: The paste issue with maps.google.com was discovered and is under investigation.  Thanks!

  23. Anonymous says:

    Hi, IE7 is great but there is one issue I have. I use the google tool bar on my browser but when I try to use its handy spell checker, IE7 does not let me correct spelling mistakes. Could someone please check it out?

    Thanks and good work

  24. Anonymous says:

    have used it few weeks

    find:

    1. when view in tabs, loading big pages(lot’s of pic download), then click other tabs…the odds to hanging is HIGH!

    2. the go button often replace by refresh button, then click it , the address reset to last successful connected addresss. its a chaos to ie6 users.

    3. some compatible issues.

    4. tabs mode performance is not as good as other browser

    5. why not make add-on manager a command button?it shoud save a lot

    i am bit dissapoint as long time ie user

  25. Anonymous says:

    I have a quick question that SOMEONE might be able to answer….Not me. I tried! I downloaded the latest version of IE7 Beta…I USED to be able to go to my website via FTP and "see" folders and files….I could then drag and drop to the desktop. I now only see text that cannot be moved – no icons.Where can I go for help (this might even be a setting that got messed up)

  26. Anonymous says:

    Links that open in new windows should all open within new tabs.

    ctrl-tab should function like alt-tab in a chronological order rather than linear (left<->right).

    if IE7 is open, how to make it so that if the IE7 shortcut is clicked from the quicklaunch, that a new tab is opened instead of a whole new window.

    browser options should be laid out in a neater fashion for users.  examples of this can be seen with mozilla or better yet with opera.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Downloaded IE7 had nothing but problems,My computer was very slow, not to mention freezing. Media Pass application was considered

    spyware on my program and there was many, many ot them..Unistalled, back to IE6..Very Disappointed…

  28. Anonymous says:

    @Kevin

    "1. Links that open in new windows should all open within new tabs." Did you check "Open popups in new tabs" in tab options?

    "2. ctrl-tab should function like alt-tab in a chronological order rather than linear (left<->right)." Maybe… But there are some logical difficulties. I think It was discussed in chat or in this blog. I would also like to switch tabs with mouse wheel when my cursor is hovering tabs bar.

    "4. tabs mode performance is not as good as other browsers" Totally agree.

  29. Anonymous says:

    I am having major problems with this program.  

    1.  I cannot cut/paste without getting the "do you want to allow access to the clipboard"  whether or not I click yes, the entire internet page is closed.  

    2.  I cannot download pictures.

    3.  I would like to go back to IE 6 SP2 but cannot find the download.  I really HATE this beta crap.

  30. etransform says:

    I had posted my first blog "etransform". I had downloaded IE7B3 3 weeks ago, but it gave me problems with Yahoo Browser. So after spending a week trying to fix it with Yahoo Tech support, they told me it is not supported and I went back to the old(IE6)Yahoo browser. Now a week later, I am ready to abandon IE6 and convert to IE7B3 but I have tried 12 times to download it but just short of the install completing, I get an error msg that it did NOT complete so I have to restart and back it out.

    I had previously uninstalled IE7B3 before I tried to re-install it but to no avail. I had also completely removed Yahoo Browser and all Yahoo Apps. I had also removed my firewalls and disabled all my antivirus and antispyware programs. But it still does not install. Help!

    All advice greatly appreciated at etransform@hotmail.com

    Thanks.

    Sateesh

  31. Anonymous says:

    @Fduch

    thanks for your reply.  no answer to #3 eh?

    i didnt see the Tab settings first time around.  I guess because of my original #4 question.  I assume all the advanced options were options that were just added later and not sorted into an updated UI.

  32. PatriotB says:

    Larrytimm — you can get to the "folder view" for FTP sites by clicking the Page menu and then "Open FTP site in Windows Explorer."

    (It looks like the segregation of IE from Windows Explorer is responsible for this minor inconvenience.)

  33. PatriotB says:

    Michelle —

    2.  I cannot download pictures.

    Are you talking about viewing pictures on the screen, or saving them to your hard drive?  If you’re talking about the latter, you can still save pictures by right-clicking on them and selecting "Save Picture As".  The floating toolbar that IE6 showed when you hovered over an picture, has been removed from IE7.

    3.  I would like to go back to IE 6 SP2 but cannot find the download.  I really HATE this beta crap.

    To go back to IE6 SP2, you can uninstall IE7 from Control Panel > Add/Remove Programs.  You don’t have to download anything.

  34. Anonymous says:

    @Kevin: For #2, try changing the Setting in tools | Internet Options | Advanced "Use most recent order when switching tabs with CTRL+Tab"

  35. Anonymous says:

    I can’t find iexpress.exe in IEAK7 installation, is it available in this build? In help file I find topic about it, but can’t find it in files.

  36. Anonymous says:

    For thoes who want to switch back to IE6,

    go to control panel and uninstall IE7,restart,

    thats all u do, IE6 will pick up when restarted.

  37. Anonymous says:

    Friends,

    I still cannot get IE7 Beta 3 to work on my PC.  As I mentioned in previous posts IE7 Beta 2 was just fine.  Beta 3 starts up and promptly closes. I have tried the suggested workarounds to no avail.

    Has anyone else experienced this issue?

  38. Anonymous says:

    Not related to this blog post, but i’ve just been reading the Vista UX Guidelines, and it appears to use IE7’s ‘Favorites Center’ as an example of bad UI design!

    http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/library/en-us/UxGuide/UXGuide/Controls/Tabs.asp

    Go down just before half way, and it has a screenshot saying the FC incorrectly uses buttons to mimic tabs.

    I’m surprised that…

    1) The mistake was made in the first place.. AND

    2) Your guidelines so blatently show another (may I use the word ‘flagship’) Microsoft application and criticise it!

    Any explanation lol…

  39. Anonymous says:

    Ok since, there’s not a fix to the CSS and web standars incompabilities. I would like to know where can I find a good IE uninstaller.Sorry Devs but while IE looks excellent with the new features and stuff, it doesn’t matter if we can’t see the webpage we want to see in it. Unfortanely Firefox FTW.

    Peace…

  40. Anonymous says:

    Ok since, there’s not a fix to the CSS and web standars incompabilities. I would like to know where can I find a good IE uninstaller.Sorry Devs but while IE looks excellent with the new features and stuff, it doesn’t matter if we can’t see the webpage we want to see in it. Unfortanely Firefox FTW.

    Peace…

  41. Anonymous says:

    Internet explorer 7 beta has too many bugs in it.  Not worth wasting your time to install it.

  42. PatriotB says:

    Bud,

    I hope you have been reporting these bugs to Microsoft.  That is the whole purpose of a beta release.

  43. Anonymous says:

    PROBLEM:  The previous build of Beta 3 (6.9 something?) installed the following

    @c:windowssystem32occache.dll,^…..

    as the first "choice" when running Disc Cleanup (which I use a lot–used to use a lot)

    AND

    no matter what option you click to "View Files" brings up the following:

    C:WINDOWSDownloaded Program Files

    I uninstalled that build and just now reinstalled the newest build and, of course,

    it wasn’t fixed!

    Going back to IE6 restored the name of the fist choice to Downloaded Program Files instead of

    @c:windowssystem32occache.dll,^…..

    But it came right back when I reinstalled the newest build (IE7, Beta 3).

    I can’t face a system re-install right now!!!

    What’s going on???

    –Linda Starr

  44. Anonymous says:

    Hi,

    I want to update from Beta2 to Beta3. The Install always tells me not possible, first uninstall. But there is NO ENTRY in Control Panel > Add/Remove Programs, neither in Programs nor in Windows Components.

    What to do now? How can I get rid of Beta2 and install Beta3?

    Make it a stand alone browser and you don’t have all this problems! I really don’t like this kind of software that makes more problems than anything else.

  45. Anonymous says:

    Pop-up blocker is most annoying in IE7. Even if I disable it, it keeps blocking pop-ups. Please do something !!

  46. Anonymous says:

    I didn’t have any problems. IE7b3 is fantastic! This is my first public see (my sight I mean) of the IE7. I must say that I like new, a modern render engine of web pages in IE7. It’s very fantastic. IE6 is still attacked by heavy security holes, that’s why I went to IE7.

    IE7 is good. On my PC IE7 is almost faster than IE6 on my XP SP2. IE7 is good! But be better when IE7 will come in the final version!

  47. Anonymous says:

    would you please make IE7 supports all 4 REST command.

    GET/PUT/POST/DELETE

    so it should be possible to write.

    <form method=’delete’ action=’…’>…

    thanks

  48. Anonymous says:

    Too bad that it won’t support standards like CSS2…

  49. Anonymous says:

    Very, very, very disappointed.  I lost my IE 6 and Calculator when trying to remove MSN Messenger from my system.  There is no reason for me have it or to suffer through it starting up everytime I turn on my computer.  I don’t use it.  The Remove Windows Components window is a joke because you don’t know whether you are actually adding or removing.  I went through several sessions of adding / removing MSN Messenger and watched as my IE icon appeared and disappeared from my desktop.  Determined not to have MSN Messenger shoved down my throat, I "removed" it (even though it is still there) and installed the Beta 3.  I do not want to join the Customer Experience Improvement Program that is "recommended" but apparently, it is REQUIRED because when I clik Save Your Settings, I get an error.  AND the  "Go to your Home page now, and don’t show this again." link is a joke because the "Run Once" page appears everytime I open IE.  This is typical of MS programs – they make their users think they have options but they really don’t.  My other problem is that some pages I was able to access before don’t open at all.  IE just hangs up.  I was able to find the download for IE 5.5 SP2 at http://www.oldversion.com but I’m turing to Firefox.  My next PC will be a Mac – I’m tired of this crap.

  50. Anonymous says:

    As a professional photographer I live and die using Adobe Photoshop CS2.  I installed this test version and found that it causes my Adobe Updater to fail.  The updater reports no connection.  Removing the Beta 3 and returning to IE 6 on XP SP2 allows updater to function.  Please add this to the list of repairs for the final version.  I like the features I see but using Photoshop keeps me in business. (Reports of the problem can be found all over the web and from what is reported it started with BETA 2).

  51. Anonymous says:

    @Yuri – Yes you are right. iexpress.exe is no more available as a part of tools within IEAK installation. IEAK uses iexpress.exe that ships as a part of the OS for packaging IE. Help talks of that.

  52. Anonymous says:

    I will try it…

  53. Anonymous says:

    I have a question about something that I have always wanted in an IE release.

    If I click the IE7 shortcut in my quicklaunch bar, IE7 will start.

    However, if I click the shortcut again, IE7 will open another window.  Is it possible to make IE7 open a new tab instead of a new window by clicking the shortcut?

    This is the normal operation of Opera, where it only allows one instance.  If Opera had more support on the net, I would never use IE or firefox again.

    Is this possible?

  54. Anonymous says:

    It seems that the new release of IE7B3 has given me fits.  While normal browsing is OK, there are issues with clicking hyperlinks in both of my mail clients (Outlook and Outlook Express).  Has anyone experienced this issue?

  55. Anonymous says:

    Can’t copy and save pictures at all. When I Right click I get the save as, but it doesn’t highlight or work anything in the dialog box.

  56. Anonymous says:

    I checked "Don’t show this message again" on exit from IE7 when asked about saving tabs. Now I cannot save tabs and cannot find out how to turn the prompt back on. This ought to just be an option in Tools.