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Microsoft To Provide IE Patches for Windows XP Only 610

Fortunato_NC writes "Microsoft has decided that future IE updates, including those related to security, will only be available to customers using Windows XP. This news.com article has the complete scoop. A choice quote: 'Microsoft may be turning the lemons of its browser's security reputation into the lemonade of a powerful upgrade selling point.' This should provide a huge boost to Mozilla and other alternative browser backers."
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Microsoft To Provide IE Patches for Windows XP Only

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  • Classic M$ (Score:5, Insightful)

    by scifience ( 674659 ) * <webmaster@scifience.net> on Thursday September 23, 2004 @09:25AM (#10328734) Homepage
    Then they'll come back in a couple of days/weeks and say that "our business customers are unhappy with this decision" and decide to extend the patches through the end of 2006.
  • XP only ? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mirko ( 198274 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @09:26AM (#10328737) Journal
    What do they mean ?
    No update for Win2000 which is still used by my 50000-employees company ?
    Or do they mean they will not update IE/Solaris and IE/OS[9X] ???
    • Re:XP only ? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by DogDude ( 805747 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @09:28AM (#10328768)
      Well, my 6 employee company has standardized on W2K. We've been testing Firefox for the past month, and with the exception of a few IE specific apps, we'll be staying with Firefox now.
    • Re:XP only ? (Score:4, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 23, 2004 @09:29AM (#10328791)
      "We do not have plans to deliver Windows XP SP2 enhancements for Windows 2000 or other older versions of Windows," the company said in a statement. "The most secure version of Windows today is Windows XP with SP2. We recommend that customers upgrade to XP and SP2 as quickly as possible."

      Seems pretty clear to me.. Unfortunate .. commonplace for larger companies to be using Windows 2000 ..

      In other news Microsoft decides to stop patching Windows 2003 and recommends that everyone upgrade to Linux..
      • Re:XP only ? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Thursday September 23, 2004 @09:32AM (#10328818) Homepage Journal
        While they might stop patching everything but XP, the text you cite does not say that. Nor does it even imply it. They're only specifcally saying that SP2-related security enhancements will not be delivered to any other version of windows, until longhorn comes out sometime in 2014.
        • Re:XP only ? (Score:5, Informative)

          by timeOday ( 582209 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @09:39AM (#10328903)
          I have to side with the article summary on this one:
          Microsoft promised "ongoing security updates" for all supported versions of Windows and IE.

          The ongoing security updates do not, as Microsoft points out, include the latest security fixes with Service Pack 2, released last month. Those include a new pop-up blocker and a new system of handling ActiveX controls and downloaded content.

          And it's those more substantial changes, rather than the bug fixes that come with routine upgrades for supported products, that security organizations have lauded for addressing IE's graver security concerns.

          There you have it: there is no option for securing MSIE on Win2K.
      • I still can't see why any company would want to "upgrade" to xp, especially larger companies for which such an investment would be a huge amount of money.

        As far as Windows' go, 2000 is the lightest and most stable. XP is bloat, and seems to have more bugs in my experience. It also has that nasty DRM shit which no one, corporate or private, truly wants.
    • Re:XP only ? (Score:5, Informative)

      by guacamole ( 24270 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @09:34AM (#10328841)
      IE/Solaris (and HPUX) has been dead for many, many years. OS X version of IE has been EOLed shortly after apple introduced Safari.
    • by narsiman ( 67024 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @09:34AM (#10328843)
      What they mean is Windows 2000 is completely secure. It does not need anymore fixes. You should be happy that you selected W2K for all your 5000 employees.
    • Re:XP only ? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by overshoot ( 39700 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @09:35AM (#10328863)
      What do they mean ?
      No update for Win2000 which is still used by my 50000-employees company ?

      Yup -- but you were supposed to upgrade to XP already, so what's the big deal? You have been paying for Software Protection, haven't you?

      • by kfg ( 145172 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @10:00AM (#10329163)
        You have been paying for Software Protection. . .

        Yeah, youse wouldn't want anything to 'happen' to yer software, now would you?

        KFG
      • Re:XP only ? (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Jeff DeMaagd ( 2015 )
        Software protection is a waste of money. It is cheaper to just buy a licence outright, then when Longhorn SP1 is released, you'll need to replace all your computers anyway, which pays for its licence outright.

        2000 has another year of full support anyway, making it about five years, like any other Microsoft OS.

        It looks like a NX support thing, not patches to fix the JPG execute problem, which have been rolled back to 2000.
    • Re:XP only ? (Score:4, Informative)

      by HydrusZ ( 539461 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @09:52AM (#10329066)
      "Microsoft promised "ongoing security updates" for all supported versions of Windows and IE."

      It means you will still get all of the patches, but you will never get the popup blocker and other features specific to IE6 SP2. Not a big deal.
    • Re:XP only ? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Martin Blank ( 154261 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @10:08AM (#10329261) Homepage Journal
      Man, you people are gullible.

      Microsoft has said that they will not make IE6 SP2 available for older versions of Windows, not that they won't provide security patches.

      Generally speaking, I don't criticize the Slashdot crew because they have enough story submissions to read through that things will slip past, but this is ridiculous. Microsoft has committed to several more years of Windows 2000 support, and there are still a couple of years left on Millenium. Because they view the browser as part of the OS, it would be asinine to think that they would patch XP's IE and leave the older ones to sit where they are now.
    • Re:XP only ? (Score:5, Informative)

      by jekewa ( 751500 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @10:40AM (#10329620) Homepage Journal
      If you check the Product Lifecycle Dates [microsoft.com] they've already passed the end-of-life dates for many of the older versions of Windows.

      Win3x, Win9x, and WinME are all long passed. WinNT Server remains until 31 Dec 2004, but other WinNTs are passed. Win2K is scheduled for demise on 30 June 2005 (start saving). Even WinXP is scheduled for desupport 31 Dec 2006. Win Server 2003 is scheduled for 30 Jun 2008, so you've got a while there, but it's on the plan.

      It should not come as a surprise that they stop providing feature enhancements to the older versions. Profit and other greed aside, technically it's unrealistic to expect them continue to support systems indefinately.

      Tick, tick, tick...

  • Good (Score:5, Insightful)

    by linsys ( 793123 ) <linsys@nospaM.intrusionsec.com> on Thursday September 23, 2004 @09:27AM (#10328758) Homepage
    I don't see this as anything but GOOD news for the alt browser market.

    I have already moved all my customers off IE and onto firefox and have received NO complaints as of yet, actually they are like wow I don't seem to get any more of those pop up ads, you're a great admin... ;)

    Microsoft continues to shoot them selves in the foot in the area of security. I thought they wanted to keep their market share, I guess the greed is getting to them.

    • Re:Good (Score:5, Insightful)

      by dtfinch ( 661405 ) * on Thursday September 23, 2004 @09:43AM (#10328955) Journal
      Unfortunately, a great deal of home users will never even think of installing a browser besides the one that came preinstalled.
    • Re:Good (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Quinn_Inuit ( 760445 ) <.moc.oohay. .ta. .tiunI_nniuQ.> on Thursday September 23, 2004 @09:50AM (#10329043)

      It's not so much shooting themselves in the foot as shareholder pressure. One of the ironies of M$'s near-monopoly position is that their old products are their biggest competition (in most markets). Shareholders, of course, are not content to rest on the companies laurels, but want new profits.

      It may sound strange, but this is just an attempt to choke out the competition.

    • Re:Good (Score:3, Interesting)

      I agree. This is some of the best news the 3rd party browsers could have hoped for.

      However it is terrible news for businesses. Consider a company with upwards of 10,000 people using Windows 2000... well let's just say that the "migration" to Windows XP would be a rough ride.

      How long now until Microsoft decides to stop supporting Windows 2000 altogether, as it's "not as secure as XP with SP2"? I see this a setting the stage. Since IE is integrated into the system, would this not also hinder other secur
    • Re:Good (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Entropius ( 188861 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @11:00AM (#10329865)
      Unfortunately, getting people to stop clicking on that big blue E isn't enough to stop them from being exposed to IE holes. IE's rendering engine is all over windows.
  • Servers? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by brucmack ( 572780 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @09:27AM (#10328760)
    The article mentions nothing about servers... Does this mean that Windows 2000 Server users will have to upgrade to Windows Server 2003? That'd be especially low, considering how many businesses won't have had time to upgrade that far yet. Heck, most of the places I've worked in still have NT servers running...
  • by FuzzzyLogik ( 592766 ) * on Thursday September 23, 2004 @09:27AM (#10328762) Homepage
    They aren't saying they won't provide security patches for holes, they're stating they won't provide the features that are in SP2 in anything other than XP. That's what I got out of it. Which isn't such a big deal, did you expect anything less really?

    "We do not have plans to deliver Windows XP SP2 enhancements for Windows 2000 or other older versions of Windows," the company said in a statement.
  • just like them (Score:3, Insightful)

    by alatesystems ( 51331 ) <chris@chrisben[ ].net ['ard' in gap]> on Thursday September 23, 2004 @09:28AM (#10328767) Homepage Journal
    This sounds like microsoft. But you know they'll just say they are going to do give them out anyway until 2007 or something like they always do.

    The summary says that it will boost browsers like Firefox, but I highly doubt it. I don't know that many people who aren't already on Windows xp, but the plain fact is, plenty of people browse websites that can ONLY be viewed properly in IE. I hate it. You hate it. But the fact is, people need to put more pressure on webmasters to create standards-compliant websites.(AHEM SLASHDOT) COUGH COUGH /. rendering left side.

    Chris
    • Re:just like them (Score:5, Informative)

      by miracle69 ( 34841 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @09:31AM (#10328810)
      I haven't been to a website in years that I couldn't see in Mozilla.

      Care to provide any examples?
      • Re:just like them (Score:4, Informative)

        by ruiner13 ( 527499 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @09:43AM (#10328956) Homepage
        "I haven't been to a website in years that I couldn't see in Mozilla.

        Care to provide any examples?"

        Windows Update. [microsoft.com]

        There's one. Many financial sites are like that, as well as a few more i've seen. I love firefox, but it is still lacking in some CSS2 areas.

        • Re:just like them (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Nyarly ( 104096 )
          There's one. Many financial sites are like that, as well as a few more i've seen. I love firefox, but it is still lacking in some CSS2 areas.

          There's something gutbustingly hilarious about saying "can't use alternative browsers for IE-only sites" and then going on to complain about a few CSS2 issues in Firefox.

          Granted, I don't know a browser that perfectly handles all of CSS2, but IE is one of the worst offenders. display: fixed, and most of the pseudo-attributes completely fail under IE. Not to mention

      • This site [od2.com] were/are providing download facilities for an album in aid of Oxfam's campaign for Darfur.

        Apparently, because the DRMed-album is in Windows-only format, people with browsers like Firefox are forbidden - presumably our use of Firefox proves we're going to try and use Winamp to bypass DRM...or something.

        You're right though - there are precious few web-developers stupid enough to build for IE and IE alone these days.

      • by spineboy ( 22918 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @09:45AM (#10328973) Journal
        I work in the medical field, and plenty of sites for reading X-rays, checking patient labs seem to be only usuable by IE(active-X issues, etc). It's the only reason I keep Windows on my Linux boxes.
      • Re:just like them (Score:3, Informative)

        by Oriumpor ( 446718 )
        Web consoles for the Cisco 3500's, the 3com corebuilders... oh you know... obscure shit like that.
      • Slashdot (the rendering bug), Odeon [odeon.co.uk] (past the first page), Powerhouse [powerhouse.co.uk] are the ones I've tried in the past week or two that have Mozilla problems. I still use Firefox though, Powerhouse lost my custom because of their IE requirement.
        • by Seehund ( 86897 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @10:22AM (#10329432) Homepage Journal
          ... Powerhouse [powerhouse.co.uk] are the ones I've tried in the past week or two that have Mozilla problems.

          "Welcome to Powerhouse Online

          You may be experiencing difficulty in accessing our site because your Internet Browser needs to meet the following criteria:

          * IE 5 +

          If you wish to use our site you will need to update your browser accordingly."


          That's not a Mozilla problem.
          It's a powerhouse.co.uk problem.

          I will not "need to update" iBrowse/Voyager/Galeon/Firefox/Safari/whatever to IE5, thankyouverymuch. It's Mr Mongoloid Webmaster at Powerhouse who needs to get a clue.
      • Slashdot (Score:3, Informative)

        by Andy Dodd ( 701 )
        Slashdot renders like crap in Mozilla 1.7.x

        Specifically, the "left side" menus and the main page overlap most of the time. (That's what the original poster meant by "Slashdot left side".)

        Half the time ONLY the left side menu and nothing else renders.

        For the past month or two, /. has been HORRIBLY broken in Mozilla.

        www.geocaching.com's front page is also broken in Mozilla.
      • OK try this one (Score:3, Informative)

        by spineboy ( 22918 )
        here [ucla.edu]
      • Re:just like them (Score:3, Informative)

        by dheltzel ( 558802 )
        I agree, the only sites I need IE for anymore are internal company sites that use stupid IIS tricks and refuse to work with FireFox (even when I trick them into thinking I'm using IE, the display is hosed). Everything on the internet seems fine with Firefox. The only site I've found that displays funny is /. (oh, the irony), but I can still read that ok.
  • Perhaps. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Skye16 ( 685048 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @09:28AM (#10328770)
    Though I must admit, there is some trepidation at the alternative browser approach. Just because the browser isn't used to, say, view webpages, doesn't mean a downloaded jpg (for example) won't be automatically opened in IE (for various reasons). Unless IE can actually be physically uninstalled easily and quickly, the threat still remains.

    Not that I'm saying you shouldn't use an alternative browser, it's just that the potential for harm is still there as long as the security hole remains present. And it worries me.
  • by kahei ( 466208 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @09:28AM (#10328774) Homepage

    This article tries to turn the sow's ear of an overstretched metaphor into the silk purse of a pithy comment, but winds up counting it's chickens in a castle built on sand as the skeletons in the closet come home to roost.

  • How many reasons? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DigitalRaptor ( 815681 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @09:28AM (#10328775) Homepage
    Really, how many reasons do people need to switch to another browser before they do it?

    I know a LOT of really intelligent, well educated people, many of whom are programmers or use linux in a server environment, who still use IE / Outlook [Express] on their desktops.

    That is just begging for it.

    I tell them over and over again the risks, and they still stay where they are. Ironically, complete neophites switch over as soon as I tell them about Firefox / Thunderbird.

    I guess the meek really will inherit the earth.

    • Re:How many reasons? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Mr_Silver ( 213637 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @10:47AM (#10329707)
      I know a LOT of really intelligent, well educated people, many of whom are programmers or use linux in a server environment, who still use IE / Outlook [Express] on their desktops.

      This could be because those people have never been affected by all the exploits that are out there.

      Think of it like a house with a dodgy lock, you don't bother getting around to changing it because it's the last thing on your mind. As soon as you get broken into, you'll fix it.

      These people just haven't been given an incentive to change yet. They're happy with what they have and aren't interested in changing. Banks rely on this sort of apathy all the time - otherwise you'd get some decent competition when you're shopping around for a new current account.

  • by stratjakt ( 596332 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @09:29AM (#10328785) Journal
    First fucking line of the article.

    Microsoft this week reiterated that it would keep the new version of Microsoft's IE Web browser available only as part of the recently released Windows XP operating system, Service Pack 2.

    Only the new version of the browser is available under XP Service Pack 2, for architectural reasons the other OS's lack (NoExecute and whatever else).

    It says nowhere they won't provide patches for the most current IE's available under 2000.

    The new IE only runs under XP SP 2. You also need to upgrade if you want true HT support, BTW.
  • by pixelpusher220 ( 529617 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @09:30AM (#10328792)
    This should provide a huge boost to Mozilla and other alternative browser backers.

    Even if people switch to a different browser IE is still installed on the machine and vulnerable to attacks without the security 'updates' in SP2.

    So even though you've installed a much more secure 'door' (Firefox, etc) your backdoor is still just as wide open.

    Since MS decided to 'combine' the browser into the OS they should be required to support ALL of the OS with their security fixes.


  • Wait a minute.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by FortKnox ( 169099 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @09:30AM (#10328798) Homepage Journal
    We do not have plans to deliver Windows XP SP2 enhancements for Windows 2000 or other older versions of Windows

    Seeing as IE isn't apart of windows (wasn't that part of the anti-trust agreement?), shouldn't I be able to D/L the latest and greatest version of IE (with patches already included) from MS??

    When asked about IE's origin as a free, standalone product, the representative said, "You're talking in software terms that might be considered ancient history."

    Oh, I see... the settlement is ancient history....

    I can see them only including it in windows update for XP only, but not giving out the latest and greatest as a standalone product? Bad move.
  • And my car? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Adam9 ( 93947 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @09:30AM (#10328801) Journal
    So, if there's a safety problem with my 1998 Ford Contour, do I have to upgrade to a 2004 Ford in order to have it corrected?

    This sounds more like a marketing move combined with laziness.
  • by ImpTech ( 549794 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @09:31AM (#10328812)
    According to the article, there will still be security updates for all supported versions of IE and Windows. What they're saying is that Win2k and older will not get the pop-up blocker or any other such enhancements.

    Still sucks for the Win2k users though... Its clearly nothing more than a ploy to make them upgrade.
  • by pbranes ( 565105 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @09:31AM (#10328813)
    The article says that Windows XP SP2 enhancements will not be delivered to Windows 2000. This says nothing about security patches. This slashdot posting is FUD.
  • by Leomania ( 137289 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @09:32AM (#10328828) Homepage
    What I mean is this: no one believes that you can get something for nothing any longer. Case in point, I just installed Firefox (and Spybot/AdAware/SpywareBlaster) for my next-door neighbor who had a slew of popup-generating malware on his PC. As I installed Firefox, he kept asking "And it's free? Why? What's their business model?" As a salesman, he just couldn't swallow that it could be a full-featured application AND available for free.

    The good news is that he's happily using it now and he's starting to understand that IE was how the malware was getting onto his system. But I tell you, if I have to spend as long convincing/educating others as I did with him, it's going to become a full-time job pretty damned fast.

    - Leo
    • by WebCowboy ( 196209 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @12:36PM (#10331046)
      ...that Firefox and Thunderbird must overcome:

      As I installed Firefox, he kept asking "And it's free? Why? What's their business model?" As a salesman, he just couldn't swallow that it could be a full-featured application AND available for free.

      Almost *all* PC users who have never known anything but Microsoft Windows are suspicious of free software (and always confuse free/libre with free/gratis). People in sales/marketing are just extra slow learners in this respect ;-). Additionally, past experience with these folks is that you must either spend money on or pirate/"steal" software, because free==adware and spyware. They have been taught this by experiences with Kazza and other "free" P2P sharing software, comet cursors, custom smiley addons, Weatherbug, etc etc.

      I have converted my parents, my girlfriend, some of her family and a few of our friends (all running some MS Windows variant) to Firefox (and Thunderbird in a couple cases) and all have been happy with the change. However, there is one person (whom I know only through chatting on Yahoo Messenger) that is totally convinced that Mozilla is a company with a business model built around distribution of adware. This stems from the fact that he claims to have tried Thunderbird late last winter/early spring and it coincided with an increase of pop-ups and system crashes while he used it to browse. He cleaned his system up (removing Firefox and a few other things) and it worked better again.

      I told him that the crashes MAY have been due to the fact that he was using an earlier beta version (but not even guaranteed). I also told him it was ABSOLUTELY IMPOSSIBLE for an install of genuine Firefox to be the source of the pop-up ads and that it has always been my experience that Firefox gets RID of them. There was no convincing him that it was another one of his "free" programs (he has all manner of Yahoo Messenger toys like YTunnel, replacement smileys, booters to get rid of the dirty old men hitting on his 15 year old daughters, boot stoppers, etc). I even edvanced the theory that he may have gotten a tainted/hacked version of Firefox and that you should get it right from Mozilla. He contends that that is where it came from.

      He had the same kind of questions as your sales friend, and kept responding to my answers with more questions:

      Him: "If they give all their programs away and there was no ad-ware, how does Mozilla make any money?"

      Me: "They don't. Mozilla is a non-profit foundation. The programmers are volunteers or paid through donations"

      Him: "Well that just means they don't make a profit. The companies that donate money to Mozilla are getting ads in return for their sponsorship"

      Me: "Not all of the project sponsors are corporations and none of them want advertising. Some are individuals who give their time and/or money as well. Also, the idea is that the project is Open Source, so even though a company or person might only have/be one developer on the project they can reap the rewards of an entire team of people and see the code like everyone else"...etc etc

      Him: "I dunno...sounds fishy to me. I'd really check out that Mozilla outfit to make sure they are legitimate. Right now, I don't trust their programs on my computer. It's not like they are just little toys...the web browser and email are important parts of the OS"

      The lesson here: don't just tell doubters to download it and try it out. Actually be there to oversee the installation, and explain what is going on in ther PCs. If Firefox or any other software that is free is anywhere near their PC when bad things happen, it'll be the first think a sceptical convert that runs Windows will blame.
    • Suggested answer. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Balinares ( 316703 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @01:37PM (#10331940)
      Here's what you can tell them:

      "Firefox is what you get when people get together for the purpose to write the best possible software, rather than to make money."

      This usually conveys the message pretty well, I found.
  • by Maestro4k ( 707634 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @09:33AM (#10328834) Journal
    You have to love this quote from the article:
    • "Microsoft is not using security issues or any security situation to try to drive upgrades," said a company representative. "But it only makes sense that the latest products are the most secure."
    Well yes that's true but it's also true that a large portion of the zombie PCs out there spewing spam, viruses, worms and DDoS attacks are NOT running the latest product from Microsoft. Effectivly Microsoft's saying "well we'll concentrate on security only in a future sense." Bet that once Longhorn finally arrives XP will stop getting security patches shortly thereafter.

    Frankly we can only hope that there's enough big business clients that have "legacy" Windows OSs that will raise holy hell with Microsoft on this. Otherwise we can expect the situation with compromised machines to not get any better. It seems most of the people with badly compromised PCs don't even try to get them fixed until they finally grind to a halt, they're not likely to be upgrading to XP anytime soon.

  • by twilight30 ( 84644 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @09:36AM (#10328873) Homepage
    Squatting on your old customers and letting a burst of yellow water go.

    Why? Because IE upgrades themselves drive other upgrades for Microsoft products. For the vast majority of people, nonIE choices simply aren't an option, particularly for users wanting to use the Windows Update site. (Yes, I know that you can use the Mozilla Firefox extension for Windows Update, but my point is that many people don't)

    Windows Update is actually usable now -- something I never thought I would have seen only a few years ago.

    I understand that MS has to draw the line somewhere; I understand that MS has to support a huge array of old code; I just wish they would be a touch more responsible about it.

    I have been dealing with this exact issue all this week for various clients, and I really wish I could just simply get them all to move off Windows permanently. Wishful thinking...
  • Hot Java?! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by hey ( 83763 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @09:36AM (#10328874) Journal
    I see its the last alt browser mentioned.
    Does anybody use it. Does it have something that other browsers don't. Its it written in Java?
  • Complaints (Score:3, Informative)

    by pastpolls ( 585509 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @09:39AM (#10328906)
    Here is a link to a page that contains the website for all Attorney General's offices. I encourage you to continue to complain about such behavior...http://www.thecomplaintstation.com/stat eattorneys.htm [thecomplaintstation.com]

    Let the 200 million non-XP users speak out. Heck, speak out even if you don't use windows. Unpatched machines can cost you your bandwith.
  • by ggvaidya ( 747058 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @09:40AM (#10328921) Homepage Journal
    "I've always wondered what the problem is with the IE team," one respondent wrote in a feedback thread [msdn.com] on IE evangelist Dave Massy's blog. "I mean, it's just a browser. You need to render a page based on well-documented standards...and that's it! You've opted to not have tabbed browsing or any other personalization. It's just a window shell and the browser content...I wonder if there are only like four people who work on IE or something? I seriously don't get it."

    That many? :) And I like Dave's blog's subtitle ... "Internet Explorer moving forward!". Looks like this bugger [wikipedia.org] might have some competition ...

  • by Worm5er ( 166334 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @09:43AM (#10328948) Homepage
    Ok, so let's say that all the biggest car manufacturers in the world (that would be Microsoft) welded their hoods shut (closed source).

    I have my very nice 1969 Mustang soupped up and taking me every place _I_ need to go. Then we find out that the fuel pump has a problem with it that could cause a tremendous fire or explosion.

    Now I have to go to the dealer as they're the only one that can do work on the car, purchase a 2004 Mustang to prevent my car from potentially exploding and causing serious damage to myself and others _and_ I have to pay them for the new car?

    I don't think so.
  • by The-Bus ( 138060 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @09:46AM (#10328997)
    Dear Microsoft,

    Damn you! You shot me!

    Sincerely,

    Your Foot
  • by Xentax ( 201517 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @09:52AM (#10329070)
    I'm a little annoyed (But not exactly surprised) that there's so much fuss about this.

    I can understand companies needing time to upgrade to a new version of the OS in particular, and software in general.

    But XP is the newest major version of the desktop OS. There is, AND SHOULD BE, and end-of-life for the older versions. Who's still running a 1.x kernel of Linux? What percentage are even running 2.2x? Does Apple still patch Mac OS 8 or 9 (I'm asking, I don't actually know the answer)?

    I see all this "MS forcing you to upgrade" talk - well they're HARDLY the only company out there that does this, how else will a company that makes software for profit stay alive? This includes every gaming company out there, Oracle, Peoplesoft, etc. etc., in addition to the other OS vendors (Apple, Sun, RED HAT...you get the drift).

    I guess maybe the sentiment is that 2000 isn't old enough "yet" to be back-burnered like this? That's at least debatable. But the notion that MS is wrong to wean people off of the older versions over time is folly.

    Xentax
    • problem here is, IE shoud _NOT_ be considered part of the OS, and as such it should be supported as a standalone product, no matter what microsoft says.
    • There's a difference between "Nobody uses product X so we're not going to support it anymore" and "We're not going to support product X so you better stop using it"

      XP accounts for only half of the Windows installed base of 390 million. Half. Win2000 is around 17%. That's what, 65 million installations? Nah, nobody uses that shit anymore.... fuck em.

      Sheesh.
    • But for a lot of people Win2k is their *favorite* Windows OS.

      It's kind of like how Ext2 is a big favorite even though there are all these clever new FSes. The maintainers never said "Hey, we're done. Upgrade to Ext3 or a journalized FS."

  • by ParnBR ( 601156 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @10:02AM (#10329194) Homepage
    Timing couldn't be better. Until the end of the year, we'll have Firefox 1.0 ready. A Brazilian Portuguese version should be ready not long after. I'm happy with this, because I work as a network admin in a public school in Brazil, and this situation will enable me to mandate a no-IE policy in our LAN. We only have licenses for Windows 2000, therefore we aren't eligible for IE updates. IE6, by itself, is already dangerous, despite the fact SP2 is a step in the right direction. But an unmaintained IE6 is nothing but trouble, and I think it will be easy to convince the school's principal of this. I foresee this happening in many other places, now.

    Thunderbird is my next target, I'm eagerly waiting for a full-feature, almost-no-bugs release. I had some trouble this week with some recalcitrant Outlook Express users and viruses, and I already managed to convince them to change the e-mail client. You can use good arguments to convince them, but downtime can usually be even stronger than your arguments. ^^
  • More /. editor FUD (Score:4, Informative)

    by YU Nicks NE Way ( 129084 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @10:10AM (#10329282)
    If you read the actual article, you'll see that what it says is that the new features provided in SP2 for IE (the popup blocker and the notification bar at the top) are not going to be back-ported to older operating systems. That's not the same as saying that "Microsoft To Provide IE Patches for Windows XP Only". In the article, Microsoft commits to continue patching IE for older versions, particularly for security bugs.

    (And don't tell me that the submittor picks the title. The editors pick the title -- in this case, the title doesn't even match the submission, much less the article.)
  • M$ Partners (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JambisJubilee ( 784493 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @10:18AM (#10329392)
    This should provide a huge boost to Mozilla and other alternative browser backers.

    Unfortunately, I don't think it will. I work for a small business (a Microsoft partner) which provides IT services for other small to medium sized businesses. We provide both solutions and support. If we chose to use a non-microsoft product, we loose tens of thousands of dollars in support. No viruses, worms, spyware, hijacked browsers == no money.

    It seriously bothers me, but I would argue that the strength Microsoft has is not in providing well written software, but providing poorly written software prone to exploits.

  • Interesting... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by bcmm ( 768152 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @10:41AM (#10329631)
    Microsoft has announced that security updates will be available to users of pirate copies of XP [slashdot.org], but not to users of old versions of Windows...

    It looks like they are keen to keep even pirates in the update cycle. Maybe they would rather those who won't pay pirate Windows than use an alternative?
  • by The Dobber ( 576407 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @11:02AM (#10329899)
    Microsoft states:

    "We do not have plans to deliver Windows XP SP2 enhancements for Windows 2000 or other older versions of Windows," the company said in a statement.

    SlashDuh gurgles:

    Microsoft has decided that future IE updates, including those related to security, will only be available to customers using Windows XP.

    Slashdot generating it's own FUD now?

  • by Trillan ( 597339 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @01:38PM (#10331950) Homepage Journal

    Think about it for a moment. The only boost to Mozilla and others will be users who:

    1. Are still using Windows 2000 or earlier.
    2. Are willing to try new things -- but not including Windows XP
    3. Have not already switched to an alternative

    Now, I'm not saying it's zero because clearly it won't be. But it's equally clear to me that those first three are at least somewhat contradictory, so it certainly won't be a huge boost.

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