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Wednesday, February 16, 2005

IE 7.0 Leaves Windows 2000 Users Out in the Cold

After months of hemming and hawing on plans for a standalone Internet Explorer upgrade before Longhorn, Microsoft Corp. now plans to push out a browser refresh by July or August this year.  But the news that IE 7.0 will be available only to Windows XP SP2 (Service Pack 2) customers isn’t likely to sit well with security experts who argue that the threat from the Firefox browser is at the center of Microsoft’s aggressive anti-spyware and anti-virus plans.

“When you run a business and you worry only about what your competitors are doing, that’s not a long-term business proposition.  You really need to be listening to your customers and that’s what we’re doing,” said Gytis Barzdukas, director of product management in Microsoft’s security business technology unit.

Asked to explain the rationale for limiting IE 7.0 to XP SP2 users when the majority of businesses are still running Windows 2000, Barzdukas left the door open slightly.  “We haven’t closed the door on potentially providing it to other platforms,” he said.

However, Barzdukas argued that it was much easier for a company to consider migration to a new operating system than testing and deploying significant product upgrades.  “When we do all this engineering work, the architecture is changed significantly.”

Last year, when Microsoft rolled out XP SP2 and declined to offer the security enhancements to Windows 2000 users, analysts grumbled that the Redmond, Wash.-based software giant was using security as a carrot to get businesses to upgrade.

http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1759,1765331,00.asp

Posted on 02/16
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