Getting The Most From IEAK7

Hello everyone,

I blogged earlier about the work we have done in IE7 for IT Pros. For those of you who are interested in greater detail, I would like to point you to the recent article published in Technet magazine, titled Utility Spotlight: Internet Explorer Administration Kit. This article is available in 11 languages: English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Korean, Japanese, Brazilian Portuguese, Simplified Chinese, and Traditional Chinese.

We are also in the process of writing the new IE7 deployment guide. Expect it to be live on the IEAK7 website in the next few months.

As always, your feedback and comments are appreciated. 


Puneet Arora
Program Manager

Comments (42)

  1. When will IE7 render the CSS sites as they should?, When…

    Please I beg you, if there are not plans on getting this fixed, tell me how I can uninstall IE7 and keep getting Windows updates.


  2. I would like to know if and when IE7 is going to be compatible with my Music Match Jukebox.  I’ve installed IE& twice only to have it trash Music Match and render it unable to be reinstalled until I uninstall IE7. I like IE7 and the tabbed browsing but I can’t sacrifice my Music Match and it’s ease of handling my music library along with being familiar with it.  I’m now having to run version of Music Match because I lost version 7.5 with the first install of IE7 and the older version is all that I had an installable version of.

  3. PatriotB says:

    "As always, your feedback and comments are appreciated."

    Feedback and comments *on this topic* (IEAK) especially. 🙂  How did I know that the first comment I’d read would be unrelated to IEAK but be about something like CSS…

    Re: MusicMatch.  I would check with MusicMatch/Yahoo to see if they have a fix.  Chances are, MusicMatch does something "bad" which should not even have worked before but happened to by pure chance, and now is broken.

    The correct question is "I would like to know when MusicMatch will be compatible with IE7", not the other way around.

  4. Ashish says:

    I tried to find out the proper place to report this bug but could not. If you have the solution that will b great else can you please redirect me to the proper place.

    Problem: I use innerHTML to populate the data in a div. The data contains tables and style tag. The table is shown properly but the style tag is overlooked and so the tables just show u without any style. Is it a bug in IE since it works fine in Mozilla?

  5. Arieta says:

    Paul: try using foobar2000 instead. Musicmatch is comparable to Realplayer and such "wonderful" utilities. You are really better off without it.

  6. Fiery Kitsune says:

    Why does IEAK remain so useless even at version 7?

    Firefox’s Enterprise Kit is vastly superior.

  7. omar says:





    Just in case the first 100 Million requests weren’t heard.

  8. RR says:

    >The correct question is "I would like to know when MusicMatch will be compatible with IE7", not the other way around.

    The real correct question is "why did IE7 break content that worked perfectly well on IE6".

    As a web developer IE7 is a major headache, along with the EOLAS situation too. Microsoft couldn’t just hand over what to them is a chunk of change, no, they had to basically "break the internet". The number of sites I see with that dreaded dotted line around the ActiveXcontrols with "click here to activate" is ridiculous.

    I’m sticking with IE6 for my own personal use – it’s compatible with the WWW.

  9. Dao says:

    > why did IE7 break content that worked perfectly well on IE6

    IE6 wasn’t perfect and neither are those sites, so "worked perfectly" is quite misleading.

  10. AC says:

    Could you please give us an approximate timeframe of when IE "Next" will be released?  I read that Chris Wilson said 12-18 months back in October 2006, but also read that a Microsoft official at CES said 18-24 months and there will be no interim service packs for IE7.  Can you please give us an official approximate timeframe of IE "Next" and interim IE7 service packs?

  11. gwfraser says:

    I have kept my computer at peak performance by keeping up with downloads, purchasing better add ons, however, there is no add on that is available to fix I.E. 7.  This has to be the worse program ever produced by Bill Gates and family.  My browsing time has doubled, information is lost and access to information is next to impossible.  If this were a horse I would shoot it, but it is not.  Perhaps if Microsoft has a profit this quarter they may think of me and work on a fix for this mess.

  12. A simple user who would like 2 features in IE7 fixed. says:

    PLEASE FIX the following:

    1. Each time IE7 is opened, the value of the "Width" entry in registry key

    HKU*user*SoftwareMicrosoftInternet ExplorerLinksExplorer

    automatically increments by 1 !!

    Stop this crazyness.

    2. Please make IE7 remember the previous PIN STATUS after the FAVORITE CENTER is closed.

    Each time favorite center is closed then reopen, it will be back to

    non-pined state regardless if it was pinned before or not. It either should be remembered by default or at least an option somewhere to have it remembered would help.

    Thank you!

  13. harry_richter says:

    It is nice to read all these comments so far on the topic of the IEAK7. – oops! There are no comments on the IEAK7!

    Some people hereabouts have complained, that nobody listens to their comments. Does one wonder? Well, I dont! What I read is flaming, people putting blame on the IE7, where the blame should go to others (e.g.  Paul Vandivort

    and his MusicMatch), and irrelevant commets, that have nothing to do with the topic at hand.

    One good thing about this blog: the names of the posters are given, so you can skip all the raving lunatics, without loosing time, as by now, they are known.

    A nice addition would be a button, that cancels out all enties, that contain the word "fix", as ALL such entries are irrelevant.

    I wonder, will there be a comment, that is not off-topic (like the one you are reading ;-)))!

    IE-Team keep up the good work, and no, I am not asking when IE8 will be there, but I sure will be happy, when it finally comes, and even more so, if the improvements are as big, as between IE6 and IE7!


  14. Neil says:


    I’d have to look at your code to determine the exact cause, but I share your pain.

    You lose no matter what you do with DOM manipulation in IE.

    If you try to set the style attribute, like


    It fails in IE.  Which is a huge pain, since that is a major attribute that you would want to set. (ps set cssText instead… ugly hack yes, but this is IE, and ugly hacks are the name of the game in IE)

    .innerHTML sucks in IE too, because if you have any inline event handlers defined, you can kiss those goodbye, cause they ain’t gonna fire… (e.g. onclick="alert(‘Not in MSIE!’);")

    So, back to the DOM, oh, wait, the other bug!… you want to insert a table, well, don’t try this with DOM methods, unless you like empty tables…

    var taObj = document.createElement(‘table’);

    var trObj = document.createElement(‘tr’);

    var tdObj = document.createElement(‘td’);


    taObj.appendChild(trObj);//Fails in IE

    See, although all browsers will render a table in HTML, that is (tags changed to avoid escaping)

    [table][tr][td]Your Data[/td][/tr][/table]

    Only IE won’t let you build this in the DOM, without adding an explicit [tbody] tag.

    And if your table contains form elements… Woah Oh Oh! have fun with that, hope they aren’t radio buttons!

    Anyway, I’m not sure if your issue is any of the above, but if you post your code, we’ll try to help.

    As always, code in Firefox  / Konqueror / Safari / Camino / Opera / Any browser that remotely follows the spec / etc. first, then go code your hacks to get around IE’s brutal attempt to create a browser that handles the DOM properly.

    Oh, and while we’re on the thread of broken DOM implementations, can you please fix:

    document.getElementById( id );

    To ***NOT*** act like:

    document.getElementByIdButIfYouDoNotFindAnExactIdGoAheadAndMatchOnANameAttributeThatISpecificallyDidNotAskFor( id );

    Once again, MS attempts to help amateur developers and ends up creating a huge mess of an implementation!

  15. goose says:

    Thank you for making it easier to deploy the best browser on earth, Puneet.

    It is my dream only ONE browser is used worldwide. It will cut my development time a LOT. Thank you.

  16. Dennis Nilsson says:

    IEAK7 is now a real bloatware in the same class like other bloatware like Windows Media Player and Real Player.

    Please let us user choose a real classic mode, and all this "enhanced" things be hided.

  17. Fantastic article covering some points I really needed some good usability info for.

    Best regards from Poland

  18. Fduch says:

    IE7 falls to pieces in my hands every time I touch it.

    Click on the tab to select it? Chances are IE7 will hung.

    Open video from 30% chances IE7 will crash after some time.

    Open some tabs, close IE7 selecting "reopen on next launch" option? IE7 surely cannot remember all your tabs. 🙂

    IE7, it’s developement and support are so immature.

    I wonder how it feels to take improved IE engine and wrap it with shitty browser code..

  19. PatriotB says:

    RR, first of all, re: MusicMatch… MusicMatch is an application, not a web site.  Chances are very high that they are doing "something bad" that should not have worked right with IE6 to begin with (same with the HP Scanner software).  If any of you read Raymond Chen’s excellent blog, he occasionally blogs about some of those "bad" things that apps do and how MS usually bends over backwards to accomodate those apps.

    Re: Eolas… RR, you assume that giving Eolas "a chunk of change" would solve the issue.  What I read is that Eolas outright refuses to license Microsoft the patent.  There is no amount of money MS could pay them for it.  Whereas Eolas gives free licenses to any open source browsers.

  20. PatriotB says:

    Ashish — since innerHTML is not part of any standard, it’s impossible to say if it is a bug, which browser is doing it right, etc.  From what I understand, MS first implemented innerHTML so I would say their implementation is the defacto standard and anybody else’s implementation is the one that’s buggy.

    You say you use innerHTML to insert a "style tag" in a div.  Do you actually mean a <style> tag (versus a style attribute)?  If so, <style> tags are only supposed to be in the <head> of the document, so I’d say its no surprise that the style is ignored.

  21. PatriotB says:

    Fduch, do you have any addons installed?  I’d try running with addons disabled and seeing if that helps your situation any.

  22. Badriram says:

    The drop down list for the address bar always fills up directories i have browsed and replaces the websites in there all the time. Is there a reason why IE and explorer still use the same place to store that information, and it would be great if you spilt them up.

    (IE7 on Vista x64)

  23. Robert Moir says:

    So this IEAK 7. Does it allow admins to fix the horrible unusable joke IE interface that someone obviously hacked together for a bet with an actual usable interface?

    Because that horrible awful interface is one of the barriers for deploying IE7 that we’ve got listed here.

  24. steve_web says:

    @Ashish  Can you post your code? or a link to your site.  I’m curious as to where the bug lies.  On the "glass half full" side, maybe there is a minor error that is causing the issue in you code, or on the "glass half empty" side, maybe there is yet another bug in IE7 we need to track in the (*cough*),(*cough*),(*cough*) currently unavailable public bug tracking site.

    @PatriotB  An interesting observation! You are correct, the W3C does suggest that the style tag should only be placed in the head, but of course it is commonly used throughout the body, especially in sites that are federating content.


    Woah! after writing the above, I went to check how IE7 handles all this… Not well at all!

    You can _NOT_ insert content into a style tag:

    [[d == document, shortened for clarity]]

    via. appendChild(d.createTextNode(‘foo{…}’))

    .innerHTML just outright fails!

    Can’t say I’m too surprised, inserting content into a script tag dynamically in IE is a royal pain… all the standard DOM methods don’t work there either.

    Man I can’t wait till the patch is out, there is so much stuff that needs fixing!

  25. jake says:

    hi, just had a strange need to rebuild a box and put IE7 on it.

    Had the scare of my life when the whole browser went fuzzy.. then I remembered, that by default that Not Clear Type thing is turned on.

    Who was the one that thought that this would be the desired setting?  I think i’ve got a migrane already and I only viewed it for 2minutes while I changed the setting.

    Trully, trully, trully one of the worse features of IE7.  

  26. Aedrin says:

    I don’t get how people complain about such a non issue as Clear Type’s setting being changed. Did you really feel the need to find this site, and write that just to say your setting got changed?

  27. Dao says:

    > Ashish — since innerHTML is not part of any standard, it’s impossible to say if it is a bug, which browser is doing it right, etc.

    I suppose you know that this is nonsense. Even without a standard, you can judge whether IE’s implementation makes sense or not.

    > foo.setAttribute(‘style’,’your_data_here’);

    Don’t do that. Put any CSS code in you CSS files, or, if you really need to modify a single node, use = … or"bar", …) (with the letter, you could also set the "important" flag, but as far as I remeber, IE doesn’t support that method at all.)

  28. steve_web says:


    Re: "Don’t do that. Put any CSS code in you(r) CSS files…"

    I think you are missing an important note about advanced design in the Web Application space.

    Styling an element after it has rendered is commonplace, and shouldn’t cause the browser to choke.

    Think about dynamic floating Divs that need to be positioned at x,y.

    unfortunately, IE’s broken implementation of the DOM is what is causing the grief, as you can not set the style attribute with the DOM method .setAttribute(name, value);

    This is quite unfortunate because it leaves developers having to hack around IE’s bugs at the DOM level too, not just at the CSS/JS level.

    As was noted, .setAttribute(‘cssText’,’prop:value;prop_n:value_n;’);

    does work, as a workaround.  It is annoying because you’ll need to do sniffing to determine if you need to add the hack for legacy IE browsers. (yeah, that’s a dig… this should have been fixed in IE7, no excuses, as it would not have broken backwards compatibility)

  29. steve_web says:

    @Aedrin, What’s wrong with jake’s complaint?  Do you like Clear Type?  I’ve yet to find a single user that likes it, and it is the first thing I turn off when installing IE7.

    As for a non-issue, I doubt it.  When I saw my optometrist recently, she mentioned that she had had several complaints of eye-strain since December… in all cases, her clients had not changed any of their PC/TV habits… but they did get that shinny new IE7 with the "tabs".

    Draw your own conclusions, all I know is that you couldn’t pay me to use IE with that "feature" turned on.

  30. Dao says:

    > Styling an element after it has rendered is commonplace, and shouldn’t cause the browser to choke.

    Both is true, but still doesn’t mean it’s always good practice. In most cases, it’s not.

    > Think about dynamic floating Divs that need to be  positioned at x,y.

    You wouldn’t set the entire style attribute for that, as in foo.setAttribute(‘style’,’your_data_here’);.

    > As was noted, .setAttribute(‘cssText’,’prop:value;prop_n:value_n;’);   does work, as a workaround.

    cssText is a property, not an attribute. And as I wrote, the correct workaround would be .style.prop = "value"; .style.prop_n = "value_n";. But that’s really the workaround for the missing .style.setProperty("prop", "value", ""), since .setAttribute("style",…) is absolutely inappropriate.

  31. Aedrin says:

    "What’s wrong with jake’s complaint?  Do you like Clear Type?  I’ve yet to find a single user that likes it, and it is the first thing I turn off when installing IE7."

    Yes, I have it enabled and I like it.

    Maybe you just have to configure it propertly?

    "As for a non-issue, I doubt it."

    So because a bunch of people like to complain, it’s a big issue?

    It’s turned off easily. So yes, it is a non issue.

    I don’t go around complaining how Taskbar Grouping is heresy. It’s simply a feature which some people like, and some dislike. It can be turned off in a few clicks.

  32. PatriotB says:

    What’s wrong about Jake’s complaint is that IE7, on its "first-run" page, tells you of the fact that ClearType was turned on, and allows you to turn it off.  Commenters on this blog were clamoring for IE to give people the chance to turn it off right away, and here they go and do it but it’s still not good enough.

  33. Aedrin says:

    "I suppose you know that this is nonsense. Even without a standard, you can judge whether IE’s implementation makes sense or not."

    Making sense != Standard

    And sometimes vice versa.

  34. @Aedrin  I tried that ClearType tuner, in hopes that it would be the missing feature that should have shipped with IE7 to make it work.

    Apparently I was wrong.  Still looks like someone smeared oil all over the screen. (cause you get that rainbow effect on all text)

    Worst of all, that Tuner affect all of Windows! not just IE7!  So now Firefox looks as bad as IE, Exploring, Photoshop, the works.

    At least in IE7 uninstalling ActiveX is easy!

  35. steve_web says:

    PS as a follow up to my last post… once this ActiveX is installed, it trashes your Windows setting too, not just IE7.

    After you disable it, and delete it from Internet Options > Manage AddOns…

    You’ll need to go into (its nicely hidden):

    Control Panel > Display Properties > Appearance Tab > Effects… button > and change the Font smoothing option back to standard, from Clear Type.

  36. Aedrin says:

    "Apparently I was wrong.  Still looks like someone smeared oil all over the screen. "

    Sounds like you need to invest in a decent screen. Or need to redo the Tuner and choose something else.

  37. AC says:

    "Apparently I was wrong.  Still looks like someone smeared oil all over the screen. "

    How do you mess up the tuner? You pick an option that looks best -to you-. As Aedrin said, do you really just need to get a decent monitor?

  38. steve_web says:


    No, my monitors (every one I use is fine).

    The problem is, that since there is sub-pixel interpolation going on with clear type, it means that there are colors (red, blue, green) that appear to the left/right of pure black text (most common) on a white screen.

    This is why if you are ever going to go on TV, you don’t wear black and white stripes that are narrow, because you clothes will appear to shimmer constantly as you move.

    The reference to oil, is that similar to oil, spilled into a puddle, you get a "rainbow" of colors shimmering on a surface, that is otherwise absent of said colors.

    If you turn on Clear Type, then view a page with black text, real-close, (e.g. try 2-3 inches away), you will see all the colors bleeding at the edge of your fonts.

    Now, turn it off, and try the same, and you’ll not see any of those colors.

    I don’t recommend that users watch their monitor from 3 inches away, but if you have good eyesight, you will pick it up from 12-24 inches away, and it will stress your eyes, as they try to focus on it.

    The idea is cool, but unless you are running at above 1600×1200 as your normal screen res, those graphical glitches are painful to watch.

  39. Aedrin says:

    "The problem is, that since there is sub-pixel interpolation going on with clear type, it means that there are colors (red, blue, green) that appear to the left/right of pure black text (most common) on a white screen."

    Do you have an LCD or a CRT monitor?

  40. Nick says:


    I agree.

    I have two 19" LCDs running at 1280×1024. I’ve tried using ClearType, but after about an hour of using Visual Studio, I start to get a headache and I can feel the strain in my eyes.

    Standard text rendering is so much cleaner.  Nice clean, sharp edges without fuzzy colors surrounding all the text.

    Yes, I’ve tried using the ClearType tuner. It solves nothing.

  41. Sean says:

    The artical is very informative and so far the tool seems to be better then the old one. I like the fact that the options are better laid out when you go through the process.

    I am looking forward to the deployment guide, just one request…please make it easier to read/follow than the one for sysprep. 🙂

Skip to main content