Yes, Microsoft has indeed released no less than five test updates for Windows 7 on February 24, 2009, but the fact is that, in addition to the handful of pseudo-refreshes, users will also be able to access Windows Update items that enhance the operating system. In this context, the software giant has confirmed the availability of a reliability update for the Internet Explorer 8
component of Windows 7 Beta Build 7000. The refresh is already available through Windows Update and Microsoft Update, but also for manual download via the links at the bottom of this article. Although it will resolve some of the issues that cause IE8 running on top of Windows 7 Beta to crash, the updates do not make any additional changes to the browser.
“This update will address many of the top crashes and hangs from the Windows 7 Beta, which includes those caused by Internet Explorer as well as 3rd party components like Adobe Flash, Adobe Acrobat, and several others. We have also included fixes to enable printing PDF files and an architectural change which improves cookie management. This update does not contain other changes introduced between the Windows 7 Beta and Internet Explorer 8 Release Candidate 1,” explained Herman Ng
, IE program manager.
In terms of Internet Explorer 8 releases, Windows 7
is lagging behind Windows Vista and Windows XP. At the end of January 2009, Microsoft made available IE8 Release Candidate (RC) for Vista, XP, Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2003. However, Windows 7 users will have to wait for Windows 7 Builds 70xx from the Release Candidate branch in order to get their hands on the first RC of IE8 for the next iteration of Windows.
“Most of the issues that we discovered through the Beta are fixed in the Release Candidate 1 which is now available for Windows Vista and Windows XP. We also wanted some of these fixes to reach our Windows 7 Beta users now. We decided to piggyback onto this first update for the Windows 7 Beta,” Ng added.
Microsoft measured a variety of reliability issues including crashes, hangs, memory leaks, and so on and so forth, and indicated that some 10% of Windows 7 Beta Build 7000 users had experienced problems related to IE8. No less than 1.5% of all IE8 sessions on Win 7 Beta suffered a crash, the company stated, with the recovery rate up to 94%.
“About 40% of our reliability problems were caused by Internet Explorer and about 60% by 3rd party components. Another interesting point is that 17 unique issues account for 50% of all reported reliability problems. Because users generally have lots of toolbars and extensions installed, it’s common to see this many 3rd party components at the top of our failure curve,” Ng explained.
Internet Explorer 8 (IE8) Release Candidate 1 (RC1) is available for download here.
The Internet Explorer 8 (IE8) Reliability Updates for Windows 7 are available for download via the following links:
- Update for Windows 7 Client Beta (KB962921)
- Update for Windows 7 Client Beta for x64-based Systems (KB962921)
- Update for Windows 7 Server Beta for Itanium-based Systems (KB962921)
- Update for Windows 7 Server Beta for x64-based Systems (KB962921)