Microsoft IE update by Mahesh Pillai – GCMBA 07 Alumn

Written on September 4, 2006 by Guillermo Montes in Software

Some good news for users (including yours truly) of Internet Explorer is coming out of the Microsoft stables. Microsoft is planning to make IE 7 available as a security update to its Windows XP users later this year. A third beta was released last month and is available for users to download. The updates will be pushed through Windows’ Automatic updates, but users can choose to not install it. The last major update to IE was quite a while back, about 5 years to be more precise, which is saying something about how secure IE is against newer security threats.
Most tech savvy people do not really think highly of IE’s security capabilities, but this release is aimed at improving that image. Apart from the numerous smaller bugs that have been fixed in the new release, security features in ActiveX have also been boosted. Some tools to protect users from fraud resulting from personal and financial data have also been included in this release. For example, users will be notified if a certain bank’s website has been fraudulently replicated on another website.
Microsoft is of course being itself and using it’s tried and tested strategy of making available a few key features of a new release only if users upgrade to a newer version of an associated software. The ‘protected mode’ security feature on IE 7, which notifies the user whenever the browser tries to install new software or change any settings on the computer, will only be available with Windows Vista, which is due early 2007.
The real test for IE 7 will of course come from the ever increasing number of hackers and others trying to exploit weaknesses in a browser to access sensitive information.


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