[Updated 07/23/2010] MSXML6 is now in-band, MSI setup headaches should now (almost) be gone..

Windows 7 Windows Server 2008 R2 Windows Vista (All SPs) Windows Server 2008 (All SPs) Windows XP SP3 Windows XP SP2 Windows Server 2003 (All Versions)
In-Band In-Band In-Band In-Band In-Band OOB


(Update – This blog post was updated on 07/23/2010 to account for XP SP2’s" “End-of-Support.” XP SP2’s support ended on 07/13/2010. Please see http://support.microsoft.com/gp/lifean46 for further clarification.)

First things first, we—the XML team—would like to apologize for the confusion that the shift from MSXML6 as an out-of-band (OOB) to in-band component has caused. We hope this post will clarify that change and in turn aid you in building/maintaining your MSXML6 dependent applications.

In Microsoft lingo, OOB describes a component that is installed on top of Windows. I.e. A clean install of the Windows Operating System (OS) does not contain the component and thus an OOB installer must be used to gain the functionality desired. In the case of MSXML6, the OOB install was originally accomplished via an MSI but more recently KB<number>.exes—which are merely wrappers for the underlying MSXML6.MSI—are how we are distributing the OOB. For example, the latest OOB installed MSXML6 was released on 11/23/2009 in KB973687.

In the past several years, we’ve worked to move MSXML6 in-band for all supported releases of Windows. This began with Vista RTM and has remained the practice for all OS releases since then. Specifically, MSXML6 is in-band for XP SP3, Vista and Windows 7 . It should also be noted that the Vista and Windows 7 Server counterparts also contain in-band MSXML6. I.e. Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2 respectively. One caveat, those that are using Windows Server 2003 will still need to install MSXML6 via MSI/KB<number>.exe wrapped MSIs.

So what does all of this mean for you? If your MSXML6 dependent application is supported on XP SP2 and Windows Server 2003, you’ll need to install the OOB package of MSXML6. For all other OSes called out above, your MSXML6 dependent application needn’t worry about installing MSXML6.

The XML Team

PS As always, please post comments/help requests to our forum here….http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en/msxml/threads
PPS Table above showing where MSXML6 is in-band vs. OOB. Note that “All SPs” means that MSXML6 is in-band starting with RTM (Release to Manufacturing) of the OS and therefore also in-band for all subsequent SPs (Service Packs)

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