|| ||Leon Brooks <leon-olc-AT-cyberknights.com.au>|
|| ||How Microsoft can improve Internet Explorer|
|| ||Mon, 15 Nov 2004 13:28:40 +0800|
> If ZDNet Australia readers have suggestions for features they would like
> to see in IE, either use the talkback below or e-mail the edit team. We
> will pass your messages on to both Ben English and Steve Vamos.
Can't see Ben & Steve liking this, but it's a kind of litmus test to see
whether MS really do listen to their customers, or whether their primary
focus is the same as Bill's - maximising control and so profit.
I for one would be delighted to see two things done for MS-WindowsUpdate, one
of them an MS-IE feature, but the important bit is the reasons for wanting
* A true divorce from MS-IE; ie, you can run MS-WU successfully after
installing an alternate file manager and removing all of the
MS-IE-related DLLs from the system; I don't really care whether
this is done by running it through another browser or as a separate
* Never install any derivative of MS-Outlook or the "OnLine Services"
group during an update again. Keep the MS-OL updates separate and
only install them if MS-OL is already installed.
This should all be accessible at a "retail" point-and-click level. It should
be a genuine choice for Joe Half-a-clue Home User.
Why do I ask for these things? Because an MS-Windows system behind a
firewall is still regularly made vulnerable through - in order of
frequency - MS-OL, MS-IE and MS-Office.
I can remote-update one or *all* of my remote Linux installations both server
and desktop rapidly and securely from where I sit in a matter of seconds, and
rarely need to touch them more often than annually. I don't see why this
can't be true for MS-Windows.
There is no technical reason why MS-OL needs to be there, and no technical
reason for MS-WU to be MS-IE only either. You could bounce *any* browser
through an internal/local DLL which pre-informs the browser of exactly what
you have installed then redirects it through to the MS-WU page to select and
download appropriate updates on-line using perfectly ordinary W3C-compliant
forms and check-boxes. And any browser down to and including Lynx.
Consistently naming the update files date-time-serial-description.exe (e.g.
"20041116_1214_KB823980_Fix_XP_buffer_overflow.exe") would also allow even a
reasonably clueless user to click through the list in the correct order no
matter how they arrived (direct, via an intranet file server or on a CD).
Have MS considerd using something like URPMI or apt-get? RPM automagically
sorts out the most recent versions of whatever packages it's got to hand, and
combined with something like URPMI or yum will also discover and fetch any
needed dependencies automatically or on demand. Apt-get does the same thing
with Debian packages. You can even upgrade your entire system over the 'net
(think of going MS-Win-2k to MS-Win-XP a piece at a time) and usually with
only a few seconds' interruption to each service on the way.
There's nothing really to stop you from using RPM with MS-Windows, all of the
prerequisites run both natively and under CygWin and it'd be a damn sight
easier to deal with than the current arbitrary mess. URPMI is PERL, easy to
port, looks pretty enough.
(and click 94, 95 etc for a reasonably complete tour).
_Please_ eat a small serve of crow and learn about the methods that already
work for your Open Source "competitors", so the dwindling MS-Windows sector
of my customer base don't go on chewing up so much of my time and hair.
Finally, do have a shot at using FireFox. Hammer it, see how it goes on the
riskiest of web sites. Add this and you can even pretend to still be using
MSIE 6 on XP to do it:
LWN might like to publish this for the record, if not I'll post an HTMLized
copy on my website amongst the random downloads available there:
Perth, West Oz.
Comments (2 posted)
Page editor: Jonathan Corbet