Inside IE 8

Redmond magazine's online news editor Kurt Mackie and I just talked to Mike Nash, corporate vice president for Windows product management, about IE 8.

I had my own opinion of IE 8 based on over 50 Redmond Report readers who wrote me. My take based on your take is that the beta and release candidate are far from primetime and that many of the new features were pioneered by other browsers, but if stability issues are resolved, it could be a solid enterprise browser.

Nash was obviously far more bullish, arguing that IE 8 should not just be an enterprise browser, but the enterprise browser. He argued it has the best security, is easiest to manage (many of you agree here) and has usability tweaks that make it fun and efficient. Tell me where Nash or I are wrong at [email protected].

Patch Tuesday Not Exactly Excel-lent
Yesterday was a light Patch Tuesday with only three fixes, but Excel users may have preferred four. It seems that a publicly disclosed Excel RCE hole is still wide open.

This is particularly troubling, argued BeyondTrust CEO John Moyer, because Excel is in high use due to the tax season. So far, the attacks are limited. Let's hope they stay that way.

Ballmer a Bit Bullish
Steve Ballmer has far more nice things to say about the economy in one speech than Barack Obama has in a dozen. While the president's teleprompter has doom and gloom down to a science, Ballmer sees the tech sector continuing to innovate. Ballmer argues that innovation from startups and large concerns will continue, and that Microsoft will still pour billions into R&D.

In my opinion, tech -- especially software -- is far more agile than car companies or banks with trillions in suspect loans. Do Ballmer and I have a right to be at least a little bullish, or should we go back and reread Paul Samuelson? Your best macro or microeconomic analyses welcome at [email protected].

Your Turn: IT Gone Good
Two-and-a-half years ago, I wrote a story about IT abusing its power -- blackmailing executives, spying, stealing and sexually harassing.

I'd love to do the opposite, to show where IT uses its power for good. Do you volunteer and use your skills for good? Does your organization itself do good and have IT systems to support those efforts? If so, tell me your tale at [email protected].

Mailbag: Rating Vista SP2, a Leaner Windows 7, More
Readers share their thoughts on Vista, including how SP2 stacks up and what it might mean for Windows 7:

Ladies and gentlemen, Windows 7 is Vista SP3. It's OK, breathe.

If Vista SP2 rocks, imagine it on Red Bull and Mountain Dew after just winning the lottery!

I have been using the RC version of Vista SP2 for four days now and it makes a big difference for me. All of my programs load quicker and boot times are faster. Being the avid gamer that I am, I generally notice performance, compatibility and stability changes faster than the average user. Anyone still having issues with Vista needs to have their computer checked by someone who knows what they are doing as there is a good chance that person's issues are self-inflicted.

Vista is not a good choice for the average user as it tends not to be user-friendly. After installing Vista, there are a few system services that need to be turned off as it helps with resource usage and speeds up the OS considerably (UAC, System Restore, SuperFetch, ReadyBoost and Volume Shadow Copy). Turning off these functions freed up 40 percent of my RAM and slowed my initial processor and hard drive usage by more than 75 percent -- not to mention I freed up several gigs of hard drive space.

Speaking of turning components off, Windows 7 will apparently let you do that to even IE. And Marc thinks he knows why:

Of course you realize that Microsoft has really done nothing more than add a switch to make the iexplorer.exe executable user-accessible. It's the same with WMP and the other applications that will be "de-selectable." All the underlying code is still there. The APIs are still there.

All Microsoft has done is make it possible for it to leave users (and, more importantly, clueless legislators) with the impression that it has unbundled whatever the EU (or DoJ) asked it to unbundle. Since one can upgrade to another version of Windows 7 with a simple upgrade of the license key, Microsoft no longer needs to distribute multiple kinds of media, and it gets to sell these upgrades without profit-taking by the middleman. It's all smoke and mirrors -- the EU gets what it wants, users get what they want, Microsoft gets what it wants. There is more than one way to skin a cat.

And Charles thinks he there might be a correlation between a story about the Gates family being Apple-free...and something else:

Regarding the article on Bill Gates banning the use of iPhones in his premises, it should be noted that on the same day that hit the Internet, there was another article on a former Taliban mullah getting up to-speed online with an iPhone. Is this irony or cause and effect? If the latter, which is the cause and which the effect?

Tell us what you think! Leave a comment below or send an e-mail to [email protected].

About the Author

Doug Barney is editor in chief of Redmond magazine and the VP, editorial director of Redmond Media Group.


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