Updated: Internet Explorer 7 Deployment Guide

Back in October we released an updated version of the Internet Explorer Administration Kit (IEAK) 7.  The IEAK 7 is used by corporate administrators and Internet Content Providers (ICPs) to customize Internet Explorer 7 for their users.  The latest version of the IEAK can be used to create an Active Directory compatible MSI installer in addition to the existing EXE installer.  This means IT Administrators can now use Active Directory and Group Policy to deploy Internet Explorer along with existing options like Systems Management Server and Windows Server Update Services.

Last week, we posted an updated version of the Internet Explorer Deployment Guide which walks corporate administrators through the different options for deploying Internet Explorer 7, including using MSI and Active Directory.  If you’re in the planning stages for an Internet Explorer 7 deployment, check out the deployment guide to learn about your deployment options.

Feel free to leave comments or feedback  on the deployment guide or on deploying Internet Explorer in a business environment in general.


James Pratt
Product Management
Internet Explorer

p.s. In addition to valuable information about IE7, we've got a lot more information about IE8 coming. Keep an eye out here on the IE blog for all things IE.



Comments (48)

  1. Tom says:

    Why don’t you push IE7? Last week, I was having lunch, there was a Windows update. I told Windows Update not to install updates. Suddenly I hear my pc reboot. It had updated itself and restarted, without giving me chance to save my open files. Luckily, I didn’t lose anything important.

    My point is, your colleagues at Windows Update know how to ignore user preferences. Please tell those guys to do a forced IE7 update.

    IE7 isn’t heaven, but it’s a lot better than IE6, which still has an installed base of  40+%. Will you?

  2. vasduev says:

    Thanks ! Waiting for more info on IE8.

  3. Mephiles says:

    I will also be waiting for IE8 info. Good luck with it. I’m interested to see how different the new GUI will be.

  4. Praca says:

    Why IE7 is so slowwwwwwwwwwww??

  5. Tired of Waiting - Enough is Enough says:

    It has been said about a thousand times about a thousand ways, but the IE Team just ignores us.

    Maybe we were not talking loud enough?

    Lets try this;

    There is one thing that we want and need.  Please stop beating around the bush, and announce when we should expect to see:

    PPPPPPPP         UUU       UUU        BBBBBBBB            LLL               IIII            CCCCCCC

    PPPPPPPP         UUU       UUU        BBBBBBBBB         LLL               IIII          CCCCCCCCC

    PPP      PPP        UUU       UUU        BBB        BBB        LLL               IIII         CCC            CC

    PPP      PPP        UUU      UUU         BBBBBBBB           LLL               IIII        CCC

    PPPPPPPP          UUU       UUU        BBBBBBBB          LLL               IIII        CCC

    PPPPPPPP          UUU      UUU         BBB        BBB        LLL               IIII        CCC

    PPP                     UUU      UUU         BBB        BBB        LLL               IIII         CCC            CC

    PPP                     UUUUUUUU          BBBBBBBB          LLLLLLLL    IIII          CCCCCCCCC

    PPP                     UUUUUUUU          BBBBBBBB          LLLLLLLL    IIII            CCCCCCC

    BBBBBBBB          UUU        UUU            GGGGGGG

    BBBBBBBB          UUU        UUU           GGGGGGGG

    BBB       BBB        UUU        UUU         GGG

    BBBBBBBB          UUU        UUU        GGG

    BBBBBBBB          UUU        UUU        GGG         GGGG

    BBB       BBB        UUU        UUU        GGG            GGG

    BBB       BBB        UUU        UUU         GGG           GGG

    BBBBBBBB           UUUUUUUU             GGGGGGGG

    BBBBBBBB           UUUUUUUU              GGGGGGG

    TTTTTTTTTT        RRRRRRRR                           AAA                           CCCCCCCC             KKK            KKK           IIII        NNNNN              NNN        GGGGGGGG

    TTTTTTTTTT        RRRRRRRR                         AAAA                       CCCCCCCCCC           KKK         KKK              IIII        NNNNNN           NNN        GGGGGGGG

           TTT               RRR        RRR                    AAAAAA                   CCC                 CC          KKK     KKK                 IIII        NNN   NNN        NNN        GGGGGGGG

           TTT               RRR       RRR                   AAA    AAA                CCC                                 KKKKKK                       IIII        NNN    NNN      NNN        GGGGGGGG

           TTT               RRRRRRRR                   AAA        AAA              CCC                                 KKKKKK                       IIII        NNN    NNN      NNN        GGGGGGGG

           TTT               RRRRRRRR                 AAAAAAAAAAA           CCC                                KKKKKK                       IIII        NNN      NNN    NNN        GGGGGGGG

           TTT               RRR       RRR              AAAAAAAAAAAA           CCC                 CC        KKK     KKK                  IIII        NNN         NNN  NNN        GGGGGGGG

           TTT               RRR         RRR          AAA                    AAA           CCCCCCCCCC          KKK        KKK               IIII        NNN             NNNNN        GGGGGGGG

           TTT               RRR           RRR       AAA                        AAA            CCCCCCCC            KKK            KKK          IIII        NNN              NNNNN        GGGGGGGG


    Every single Web/Application Developer

  6. Rob says:

    Would the IE development team like to tell everyone the difference between getting the Acid2 smiley face to render on IE8 and actually passing the Acid2 test?

    Guess what folks.  IE8 DOES NOT PASS THE ACID2 TEST!

  7. @Rob:

    Do you actually know this? As in, has someone from Microsoft told you this? Or do you work for Microsoft and can see the code of IE?

    My quess is No. And if you are postulating, you should make that very clear.

  8. Rob says:


    Without a doubt I am correct on this and I am challenging  the development team to say otherwise.  They cannot and will not tell you they pass the Acid2 TEST (emphasis).  I will show my proof if the team does not answer.

    But for fun, look through the news releases and maybe the blogs, too.  Do you find, anywhere, that Microsoft claims to PASS the Acid2 test?  You will not.

  9. AndyC says:

    @Rob, they make that exact claim on Channel 9


    More curious about the MSI thing. I thought I’d read that is was impossible for MSI to be used to update Windows binaries, which was why they used to use update.exe. Has something changed there?

  10. Hectar says:

    @Wraith / @Rob.

    Rob isn’t lying.  Molly’s / Chris Wilson’s Blogs proove it.

    Boils down to this:

    The catch is the "IE8 Standards Mode".  This is NOT the Standards mode that is in IE6 or IE7, that is triggered by a valid DOCTYPE.

    This is a 3rd mode (so, Quirks, Standards, & IE8 Standards modes) which is triggered by a developer added flag that tells IE, that the developer has requested the non-buggy, standards following rendering engine in IE8, not the legacy browser we all know.

    Since the ACID2 test, serves up a specific page, from THEIR server, it means that the FLAG is NOT set on their copy, and thus IE8 would not render it correctly.

    IE8 ONLY passes the ACID2 test on Microsoft’s LOCAL COPY of the ACID2 test, where they have inserted their TRIGGER.

    We would all know this, if MS actually did what they say, and posted some info on IE8 on the Blog (since there are no secrets – Bill Gates)

    The scarier thing, is that IE7 fails the ACID3 test (ECMAScript test) horribly.  I hope that IE8 makes massive headway in this area.


  11. Stop wasting time on semantics – IE8 has the CSS/HTML capabilities to pass Acid2 now and that is good enough for me.

    What we don’t know is how this will be triggered.  But rest assured they will be giving us that information well before a public download is available.  I, for one, will be ensuring my pages trigger the new standards mode on IE8 when a public beta is released…

  12. lotro gold says:

    "IE8 Standards Mode".  NOT the Standards mode that is in IE6 or IE7, that is triggered by a valid DOCTYPE.<strong><a href=http://www.mesos-maple.com>maplestory mesos</a></strong>

  13. John says:

    There is no browser that support ACID3 and that has it’s reasons.

  14. Daniel says:


    Reading further, you’d know the key to IE8 standards mode is not yet finalized 😉 The devs will publish this information as soon as possible, but currently it’s just of no use.

    The only thin webauthors can do is to rewrite their Conditional Comments for IE7 to apply to IE8 as well. Then everything will be fine.

    Before there’s no test version of IE8 the key to its standards mode is useless. Let them work out a good solution. I have no doubt they’ll post some information soon 🙂

    And to the others: Please don’t talk about Acid 3. The lines "The Acid3 test IS NOT READY. Goodness gracious people, it’s in the middle of being done! There are sections that are incomplete, some that are wrong, and so on!" and "NOT_READY_PLEASE_DO_NOT_USE" are clear enough! Try the test when it’s ready.

  15. Andreea says:

    For me better IE6! IE7 is to slow!

  16. @Rob

    To pass the Acid2 test, the browser must render the smiley face. Sort of like, to win an archey tournament, one must hit the middle of the target. If they rendered it, they passed.


    Acid3 is not passed by any browsers that I know of, so I will not address this fallible argument with you. Furthermore, since we are looking at a pre-alpha release of the browser, the implementation of standards mode is not even remotely finalized. Funny how a pre-alpha Linux release can be full of bugs and nobody cares, but a pre-alpha news-release of IE must be production-ready.

  17. Can you tell me if there can be any latency between raising the last DocumentComplete and the onload scripts being executed? Few weeks ago I was trying to automate a site and there was a span, after I got the span object I called it’s click() method but there was no result (the span had no "onclick" attributes so I think there is some event handler attached to it or to the document).

    I told my program to wait 3 seconds after the last DocumentComplete and then to call the click() method and it worked.

    Any comment on this will be appreciated.


  18. Veridique says:

    Thanks! I will also be waiting for IE8 info.

  19. Tweak Vista says:

    I wonder, is IE7 slow? I don’t think so actually…

    But I’m interested to see how different the new GUI will be (IE8).

  20. simon says:

    @Wraith Daquell

    If rendering ACID2, as served up off the ACID2 site shows the smiley face, then yes, your browser passes the test.

    IE8 only passes the test **if** they set their proprietary "ignore the internal legacy crud rendering engine" flag.  Thus by technicality, it doesn’t pass the test exactly.

    If I go and code a page/site now, that is 100% valid markup and CSS2.1, IE8 (as it stands now) will NOT render it correctly.  This means that *ANY* production site I have already online, *WILL* need to be tweaked if I want it to appear as per the specs that I designed it in IE8.

    Don’t get me wrong, I (like Jeff Schiller) will be applying the standards triggering line as SOON as I am aware of what it is.

    What sucks royally, is that I will have to add the line to make IE8 work, and I will *STILL* have to add a collection of hacks, to make sure that the CORRECT code ([X]HTML/CSS/JS) that I pass IE8, doesn’t break stuff in IE7, and IE6 (presuming IE6 still has 10%+ market share by the time IE8 is released)

    What scares me the most though, is that setting this flag, still isn’t going to guarantee me that IE will render everything correctly according to spec, nor does it ensure me that my DOM manipulations will work as designed (without even more hacks)

    The posts that I want to see on this blog are:

    In "IE8 Standards Mode", document.getElementById(id) is fixed!

    In "IE8 Standards Mode", document.getElementByTagName(tagname) is fixed!

    In "IE8 Standards Mode", document.getElementByName(name) is fixed!

    In "IE8 Standards Mode", document.setAttribute(name, value) is fixed!

    In "IE8 Standards Mode", document.getAttribute(name) is fixed!

    In "IE8 Standards Mode", document.createElement(tagname) is fixed!

    When these blog posts are made, then, and only then will you see lots of excitement on this blog.

  21. Rob says:

    Simon gets it.  In addition, Microsoft has made no effort to clarify this "passes the test" error.

  22. JDiggityDogg says:

    Will IE8 concurrently ship an x64 version with the 32-bit version for Vista?  I notice MS lacks supporting its own variants of Vista.  I have had to wait after everyone else in line when it comes to Windows Live, Silverlight, etc..  Please tell me the IE8 version is being developed for Vista x64 along with the 32-bit version…that’s all I wanna know.

  23. Ted says:

    @JDiggityDogg– MS builds 32bit and 64bit IE at the same time.  IE7 released this way too.  

  24. JDiggityDogg: we’ve have 64-bit version of IE for quite some time. I first blogged about it almost exactly 3 years ago: http://blogs.msdn.com/ie/archive/2005/01/12/351808.aspx

    -Christopher [MSFT]

  25. Disbeliever says:


    I think you need some more on your list.

    "IE8 Standards Mode triggers naturally when a well formed page is encountered"

    "IE8 Standards Mode supports CSS1 and CSS2 Specs completely"

    "IE8 Standards Mode starts compliance with ECMAscript 4" (I don’t foresee the IE team finishing compliance with ECMA4 and getting everything else done that needs worked on without delaying IE8 for far too long, but this list would be very nice and shouldn’t take too long to finish)

    Those posts, along with your list will be a reason to be happy about IE8, otherwise it’s another junk browser we have to kludge together fixes for. Granted not as many fixes as 7 or 6, but without all this and more I don’t see it being a fully functioning browser on it’s own and see it still needing a lot of work to get it to display a page right.

    See that paragraph IE team? All the talk about not breaking the web? Worthless, the web *IS BROKEN*, and it’s *IE THAT’S BREAKING IT*, fix your browser and everyone can be happy. Corporate intranets are not the web, and if they rely on bugs from IE 6 the site’s probably poorly coded enough to send IE into quirks mode at which point it should then still work fine.

    Make the norm for IE8 to run in standards mode and don’t cut so called "web developers" any slack on things like saving sites as .txt and taking garbage code and displaying something from it. For many years IE has broken the web and turned it into a wasteland, the time to fix things is now.

  26. JDiggityDogg says:

    Good to know.  At least there is one product I know I can count on when I get my 64-bit version of Windows Vista in the next couple of days.  Thank you for the info.  

  27. Jeria says:

    Can you please do us all a favor and make IE 8 the last release?

    I am not looking forward to future releases with "IE8 Standards Mode", "IE9 Standards Mode", "IE10 Standards Mode" etc

  28. Domenic says:

    @Christopher Vaughan (Re:64bit version of IE)

    Well, this can’t be very public info, if the X-Microsoft IE Manager Dave Massy can’t even get it to run.


    "The funny thing is that the 32bit version of IE is the default version on 64bit Vista"

    Basically boils down to "support for 64bit IE is pathetic, so don’t bother"

    No offense but if the x-"manager" of the product doesn’t have faith in it, you can’t expect the community to have any either.

  29. EricLaw [MSFT] says:

    @Domenic– You didn’t read Dave’s post very carefully.  He didn’t say that he couldn’t get it to run, he simply said that it lacked extensions because most vendors do not provide 64-bit versions.  

    He’s also right to note that from a pure technical perspective, web browsers are not a key scenario for 64bit computing.  Having said that, 64bit IE runs just fine.

  30. Domenic says:

    I’ll rephrase.

    There is a 64bit version of IE, but it is not worth running due to incompatibilities.

    So yes it exists, but so does Betamax…

  31. @simon:

    I will concede that, since they are using a Standards Trigger that for now appears in a pre-alpha release of IE8, they cannot claim that their pre-alpha release of IE8 is ready for a production-ready website like the original Acid2. Nor would I expect Apple’s next OS release to be 100% compatible with today’s programs. Furthermore, one cannot be guaranteed of any browser rendering to the specs correctly, because the specs are like the pirate’s code… "more like guidelines."

    However, I will not concede that there will be any "lots of excitement" when your demanded fixes appear, on account of there was no "lots of excitement" when the last hundred demanded fixes were fixed. Please prove me wrong by not demanding more when you get what you’ve demanded.

  32. JDiggityDogg says:

    With all due respect, given the knowledge I’ve gained over the past few days, why have a 64-bit version of IE on 64-bit Vista if there’s little or no plugin support?  The only assumption I would make is that MS is working with its partners to make these 64-bit plugins a reality, or the 64-bit plans of Vista and all integrated and external MS applications are just a marketing ploy.  I hope the latter is not true.  I am investing in 64-bit because I know it’s the future (for memory management and use, at the very least).  However, researching a little about MS’s support across the board for its own 64-bit products has been (to say the least) disappointing.  I am an unstoppable optimist and I hope the IE team (and MS at large) are working on this situation.  I know the browser itself doesn’t need to be 64-bit, but the apps and services coming in the near future (web services) may need such a powerhouse behind them to run smmothly and efficiently on the desktop.  Remember, software + services?  I need the great software first.  And the partners that support it, help, too.  Sorry for the rant.

  33. Derek Kent says:

    I’ll wait to see how "IE8" standards mode is triggered when IE8 finally comes out; however, I may choose not to add any special code to get my pages to load correctly in IE8… the only change I was willing to make for IE6 and IE7 was to run some scripts after all the dom was loaded because it kept crashing IE every time people went to my web site (I was previously changing content in a tag immediately after closing the tag, which should be fine).

    Since putting up my site at the end of October, and lightly promoting Firefox (as well as Safari and Opera), I’ve seen IE6+7 (mostly 6) fall from 95% of visitors’ browsers to, as of today (over a 30 day period), under 45%.  Granted, my site only gets about 100 unique visitors a day, but I’ll keep leaving unobtrusive suggestions for visitors until I reduce IE6 and 7 users down to 0% of my web traffic.

    If IE8 can render my pages correctly, which use a lot of CSS and EMCAscript, I’ll happily encourage people to upgrade to IE8 too.  If I have add special code for MS… I may choose not to (undecided until I know more).

  34. Gill says:

    I will be waiting with great interest to see what this trigger we have to put in our pages is. If I spend hours updating sites and then find they no longer validate because of a Microsoft proprietary trigger I’ll be one unhappy bunny.

  35. Tino Zijdel says:

    I’ll be an unhappy bunny also when it relies on comment-syntax or anything else that can get ignored in processing (like IE’s conditional comments), or when it is a proprietary extension to something nog written in spec.

    IE8 should use opt-out iso opt-in and MS should make it install alongside IE7/6 unless the user/admin decides it is good as a replacement…

  36. joel says:


    I would be *VERY* surprised if it relies on anything BUT a conditional comment.

    They need the trigger to be in HTML (because they can’t count on CSS or JavaScript being turned on).

    There is a only so many tags they can use, that won’t have a negative effect on the display/DOM.

    The only other thing I think they might do, is use a meta tag.


     <meta name="IE-Standards-Mode" content="IE8"/>



    This would let other browsers ignore it, and AFAIK, would not cause any other issues.

    The only catch would be the value of the name attribute. It would have to be unique enough that it in itself wouldn’t trigger the document.getElementById() bug in IE6 and IE7 (pressumably IE8 fixes the bug when the trigger is set)

    Hey IE Dev team, how about some info here?

    IE8 – has better rendering/fixes if "IE8 standards mode" is triggered.

    But no info on what the trigger is, or what it fixes?

    What JavaScript fixes have taken place so far?  And are they tied to the IE8 Standards flag too? or do they just work now?



  37. Jote says:

    Does anyone have any proof that the "IE8 standards mode" is really a seperate THRID mode, instead of just the IE7 standards mode fixed?

  38. s says:

    Ditto, is it stated anywhere EXPLICITLY that this is a third separate mode? If not, the way I see it the phrase "IE8 Standards Mode" can be interpreted as either

    1. A separate mode, parallel with the "IE7 standards mode"

    2. IE7 standards mode with more fixes

    Stop whining about it; Did Firefox 1.5 pass Acid2? No. Did FF2? No. Does FF3? Yes. Do we have to use different "standards modes" in FF? No. Do we fix our CSS for FF3, because it passes Acid2 and FF2 doesn’t? No. Get over it.

  39. Charlie says:

    @Jote & s

    Yes, it has been pointed out in not-so-official places all over the web.  (we would like the IE Team to tell us, but they blog about as often as I get a haircut!)

    Over on Molly’s blog:


    Edward O’Connor points out, that in the HTML WG discussions, MS employees were significantly worried about compatibility, and didn’t want to fix the "current" standards mode, because that would break sites expecting the broken behaviors.

    And the debate heats up down further:


    And over on Chris Wilson’s Blog:


    which mentions the video (trying to dig it up, but I do recall it)

  40. yan says:

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  41. grhayes says:

    Apparently I am not the only one tired of the way MS does business with IE. They seem to think standards are made for everyone else but them.

    As one person pointed out I also have seen the number of IE drop on the site. I am at the point I no longer feel it is worth writing extra code to support the failure of such a blunder ware. Apparently a few friends of mine at some very large sites are also of the same mind. Most users are willing to at least use Firefox and when given the facts of how much faster it is and more compliant and …. Well they are almost eager to get it. I would rather pay to ship my customers a CD with firefox on it if need be than keep supporting every peace of code just to support a failure of a software.

    It cost extra man hours just to maintain it or implement it for new features.

    The way things are going XP will be the last OS I purchase from MS as well. I would rather start smoking, it would be healthier for me than dealing with the headaches like having the system decide it wants to install updates. So far I have been lucky to have saved. Frankly. I no longer will register as an MS developer. My servers are all now on Linux and 50% of the desktops are and figure by next years end all will be at the rate MS is going.

    To look at the facts you got about 1/3 the world populace that is just going to be getting able to have a PC in the next few years none of which can afford windows. Wander what OS they will choose and what browser? Unless MS is planning on giving their OS away to 3rd world countries in a few years they will be number two in the OS game.

  42. Kevin says:

    Reading this blog has once again put me in a ranting mood… all because this blog just doesn’t open up.

    So here goes.

    01.) MSDN Documentation.  If you are not going to fix every method and property in IE that is broken in your JavaScript API’s, then the LEAST you can do, is provide a "Known issues" section that indicates all the bugs/deviations from the published specifications.

    i.e. There should be about 4 pages worth of "deviations" for the Element.setAttribute(name, value); Method.

    If the implementation doesn’t follow the specs – fine.  But be (Wo)Man enough to admit your shortcomings and help developers out that are struggling to figure out why some of their calls work, and others don’t.

    02.) This Blog.  If you end another post with "more to come", "more coming soon", or any line similar to that, IT MEANS YOU HAVEN’T INFORMED US ENOUGH of what you are talking about. Post your follow up within 2 days please.

    03.) "IE8 Standards Mode" – You don’t need to give out the trigger code for this yet, but to calm everyone down, an explanation of this would certainly help.  Is this the DOCTYPE switch? or is this a 3rd rendering mode, triggered by an Opt-In statement.

    04.) By now, there must be more fixes/features in IE8 that you can discuss.  Please do so, no matter how minor they may seem.

    05.) Bug Tracking System. Seriously. What’s the hold up here? Come clean, is there, or isn’t there going to be one, and when. THIS ISN’T HUMOROUS ANYMORE!


  43. Read past the headlines – Firefox is fixed faster


    The "inside job" Vulnerability report that was posted here on the IE Blog:


    Tried to make it look like Microsoft was on top of the security game.  They were severely reprimanded by the community for not sourcing the document, and then later for "adjusting" the numbers.

    The report by Secunia (see here)


    Has a nice little chart (Page 7, Fig 2) that paints the complete picture of the Windows URI handling bug, that Mozilla patched on their products, because Microsoft was (a) not claiming any responsibility, and (b) THREE months away from patching in Windows.

    Care to comment? This isn’t anything about IE8, so surely you can push those NDA’s out of the way to chat about IE6, and IE7?

  44. Good to know. Thanks for the info, I’m waiting for IE8 :).

  45. whitemarker says:

    I found a bug in IE 6 and 7 that should be fixed by IE 8.  Where can I post it?

    I have provided information on how to reproduce it:


  46. EricLaw [MSFT] says:

    Thanks, Whitemarker.  This is a known issue http://support.microsoft.com/kb/927917/en-us

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