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:
- Customizations trump user settings. If a particular setting isn’t customized in the custom IE7 package being installed, then user settings prevail.
- Uninstall doesn’t change user settings.
- Installation of a customized IE7 results in applying those settings only once per user.
- 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.
IE ITPRO Team
Edit: Changed “IE 7” to “IE7” to aid in searching