December 16, 2005 5:21 PM PST

Microsoft patch jams up IE

Last Tuesday's "critical" security fix for Internet Explorer is causing trouble for some users who have been testing the new IE 7 browser.

Microsoft has received "scattered reports of users experiencing odd browser behavior" after installing the latest security update, Jeremy Dallman, project manager for Internet Explorer security at the company, wrote in a Friday posting to a corporate blog.

Three different problems have been reported: The browser could crash right after starting up; links may come up blank; or multiple windows may open when the browser is initiated, according to the posting.

"After investigating several of these reports, we have traced these issues to a common source," Dallman wrote. The culprit is IE 7, the next version of Microsoft's Web browser, which is in beta testing. The problems occur only if IE 7 is installed on a machine alongside IE 6. That double-IE configuration is not recommended by Microsoft, according to Dallman's note.

When installed next to IE 6, the first beta of IE 7 will add an incorrectly configured key to the Windows Registry the first time it is run, he wrote. The problem that can occur after installing the patch can be solved by deleting the key from the Windows Registry. The Windows Registry is a core part of the operating system that stores PC settings.

The trouble doesn't affect a large number of users because IE 7 has not yet been publicly released. The first test version of the browser, or the "private" beta, has only been available to selected testers. Microsoft has said that it plans to release an updated beta build of IE 7 for Windows XP before the end of March 2006.

Microsoft's patch on Tuesday included a fix for a critical security flaw in Windows that is being exploited in online attacks against IE users and three other bugs. The software maker released the patch in security bulletin MS05-054, as part of its monthly patching cycle.


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Why is this newsworthy and front page?
There is no news here. The reporter does not realize that this does not affect all IE7 installations but rather only those IE7 installations where the person chose to install it in a "unsupported" manner side by side with IE6. Those who installed IE7 normally would have no problem. So the number of people effected is very small. This is not newsworthy in any way and shows lack of knowledge on the part of the reporter to understand what the issue is and also lack of journalistic skills to investigate the story properly. Clue: Just reading some random tech blog where you don't even understand all the technical details and making a story of it does not make you a good reporter. Anyone can do that. At the very least contact the blogger and get their point of view or clarification about anything you don't understand. This clearly shows extreme bias on the part of to publish any remote and random negative story about Microsoft. How sad that CNET cannot find anything more newsworthy.
Posted by aabcdefghij987654321 (1721 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Because it's clear MS doesn't even test against their own products
And that is why all of it is crap. THIS is why it's newsworthy.
Posted by Anon-Y-mous (124 comments )
Link Flag
Its certainly news to users of IE 7
This is IMHO certainly newsworthy becuase a user or useres of IE 7 would surely know what the heck screwy is going on with IE 7 which can be fixed simply as the article mentioned by deleting a special conguration key from the registry.

As for the technical details most tech people well versed in IT would understand the information mentioned in the article while non-IT tech people would not. So It wouldn't be fair to say that a reporter who understands IT and writes in technical detail does not neccessarily mean that he or she is a bad reporter they must also have the facts to suport the story itself is what makes a good reporter as long as the general audience who may understand some of the details gets the giest of the story.
Posted by msims (66 comments )
Link Flag
This is news worthy because
There are users out here that have not installed IE 7 who are having trouble. They count on reports like this to inform and help. I too rely on information for trouble shooting software and update problems from trusted sources like C/net.
My computer has been having multiple problems. Having exhausted the MS knowledge base where there were no articles reporting this problem wasted my time. I did not cause this problem by installing IE7 or any unsupported side by sides. I am running IE6. Some of us out here depend truthful up to date technical information. Something that c/net has always done. Microsoft has recieved reports for days from my computer. Its a big business like other large companies it has become so large it often gets bottle necked and unable to repond. So far Microsoft is not addressing this issue. Nor are they responding to my emails. I would like to know where your got your statistics that only a small number of people are affected? If your computer were crashing and slow and not responding and also not allowing you to do a restore you would not be bashing this reporter. You would be gratiful for their help. Thanks again c/net many of us appreciate your insight and reporting!!!!
Posted by 2Oblivion (2 comments )
Link Flag
Unfinished browser doesn't work properly yet!! shock!! horror!!!
I agree, this is dumb pointless reporting.
Posted by oohkumar (7 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Side-by-side is NEVER supported
Internet Explorer does not support side-by-side installations of multiple versions.

This is nothing new, and the patch has nothing to do with it.
Posted by bayden (7 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Get Firefox
I don't know why people are still using IE and why they're so excited about IE 7. It will be no different than IE 6 and will be just as hacker prone.

<a class="jive-link-external" href="" target="_newWindow"></a>
Posted by PCCRomeo (432 comments )
Reply Link Flag
nuff said
Posted by rch99 (4 comments )
Link Flag
Maybe it should be
Other browsers don't seem to have such a problem being installed side by side becuase they aren't integrated with a onerous OS code that allows kinks like this to happen. Granted MS doesn't support multiple installations of the same version, but neither are patches supposed to cause new problems, regardless of how a user decides to configure his or her machine.
Posted by omaryak (59 comments )
Reply Link Flag
why it happened to me?
If it only happened to users who have IE 7 beta installed,
why it happened to me?
I've never installed that before,
even though I don't usually use IE,
since MSN messenger doesn't support Firefox,
I need IE to check my e-mail at Hotmail.
some website doesn't support Firefox too.
Come on. Microsoft!!! Fix it as soon as possible.
Posted by GamaFu (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Well MSN messenger does support Firefox, and most serious websites are supported by Firefox, crappy websites made with Frontpage are not supported by Firefox because they use a non standard HTML.

And if you are still waiting for microsoft to fix this, then you have to wait a looooonnnggg time.
Posted by enriqueq--2008 (12 comments )
Link Flag
An answer to Lance Fu's problem
MSN messenger doesn't need IE to work, and you can check your
hotmail with any browser. I've yet to come across a website that
doesn't support Firefox.
Posted by wpholmes (38 comments )
Link Flag
Obviously cnet no longer employs editors
A patch for a released product breaks an unreleased product. No, strike that. A patch for a released product breaks a limited release beta version of a product installed in a configuration that Microsoft does not support. Yes, indeed it is news that non-released early beta products have bugs and without the assistance of the folks at cnet I would never have a clue that this was the case.
Posted by robintontx (6 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Yeah, Thats called Technology News"...
In my opinion, yes, this IS "news". And this IS, very much, the venue in which a readership could very well be specifically affected by such an arcane-situation.

And, by the way, Microsoft actually has a looong... history of simply disavowing products, or so-called "unsupported configurations" whenever a problem is found within their products --going all the way back to "MS-DOS 4.0" (which never OFFICIALLY EXISTED, least according to Microsoft, ...starting right after all the bugs were independently confirmed).

Frankly, this problem doesnt really worry me too much, so far (there arent enough facts in yet). It really does just look like an unexpected scenario, ...which should really only be reported in, oh I dont know, possibly... Technology-Forums, such as this, maybe?

What does worry me, are people who blindly defend Microsoft, no matter what. This is especially true when it is usually an intentional Microsoft-product design-implementation, which creates the situation, in the first place.
Posted by Gayle Edwards (262 comments )
Link Flag
Why bother reading and getting frustrated over some browser that sucks
and apparently not used by many people over it? Windows sucks, use Linux. IE sucks, use firefox. Office sucks, use Openoffice. Hotmail sucks, use Gmail or yahoo.
Why bother walking to a rival sports fans and say his team sucks?
Posted by pjianwei (206 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Well. It is those webpage does not follow W3C standard
Well. It is those webpage does not follow W3C standard (if you have heard about <a class="jive-link-external" href="" target="_newWindow"></a>). IE can read non-standard code it is IE business.
Posted by iiaiiappa (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Microsoft says that it is committed to making IE 7.1 standard compliant. Now assuming Microsoft makes a good effort at it, this is good news to everybody. The main reason is Microsoft still dominates the browser landscape. If IE 7.1 does infact support and accurately render web standards then it makes it easier on developers to create webpages and easier on users because they hopefully be able to use the browser they like the best and not the one that works with this site or that site.

Of course with Microsofts track record with IE it maybe just more smoke and mirrors from them to get people to stick with IE. I suppose we will all wait and see.
Posted by System Tyrant (1453 comments )
Link Flag
Pages that only work with IE?
Firefox with IE Tab thats all you need ;)
Posted by stevejobless (40 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Jams Up Fire Fox and Opera Too!!
They have got it wrong!.

The problem is not only with people who have installed IE 7 as well as 6. I have never installed the beta of IE 7 and I installed the patch and it immediately caused my system to behave erratically. Both Fire Fox and Opera were constantly crashing on me and I was experiencing other system wide problems; other applications hanging and when waking up from hybernation my CPU activity would be at 100% for 30 seconds or more and I couldn't do anything on my system, my taskbar wouldn't even restore.

I performed a system restore to a point previous to installing the patch and everything is fine again, smooth sailing. Once again, Microsoft gets it wrong. Are they ever going to get their act together and really EARN the billions that they make?!!
Posted by screature63 (7 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Wild Tangent Control Panel
Right after we download our latest MSN Tuesday
updates.....we lost our standard games and found
a Wild Tangent icon on our Control Panel and a
bunch of twisted looking standard icons all out
of sync. Had to go through removal of Standard
games and then add them back the meantime
odd behavior...all the way around.

We still have the infamous DSO Exploit when we
run Spybot...that won't come off. But we were
finally able to get our standard MSN games back.
Posted by ronwinship (15 comments )
Reply Link Flag

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