Microsoft opens Internet Explorer 7 to XP pirates

When the Windows XP version of Internet Explorer 7.0 rolled out almost a year ago, Microsoft included a Windows Genuine Advantage validation step in the browser’s installer. The validation step prevented IE7 from being installed on pirated versions of Windows XP.

Now, nearly one year later, Microsoft IE Program Manager Steve Reynolds has posted an announcement on the Internet Explorer blog saying the validation step has been removed. According to Reynolds, Microsoft is allowing pirate users to upgrade because the company "takes its commitment to help protect the entire Windows ecosystem seriously."

In addition to making IE7 available to non-genuine Windows XP systems, Reynolds says the XP version of the browser has been tweaked so the menu bar is visible by default. The IE7 online tour and "first run" experience have also been updated, and Microsoft has included a new MSI installer to make it easier for administrators to roll out the browser in enterprises.

Internet Explorer 7.0 can be downloaded from this page for users of both genuine and non-genuine Windows XP systems. As before, however, only Windows XP Service Pack 2 is supported.

Comments closed
    • indeego
    • 12 years ago

    The EULA for this version of IE7 still says that you need a properly licensed version of XP SP1 or 2.

    So it’s amusing that Microsoft is not following it’s own EULAg{

      • evermore
      • 12 years ago

      Well you’re only licensed to use it with a properly licensed XP. They’ve just stopped preventing you from using it without a proper license. They reserve the right to bust you and say “look, we put it in the license terms”.

        • sigher
        • 12 years ago

        If they so much wish to help protect the windows ecosystem why don’t they put a “get FireFox now” button on the IE page.

    • fpsduck
    • 12 years ago

    Firefox has been my primary browser for years.

    The only reason still use IE because some websites support only IE. 🙁

    • kvndoom
    • 12 years ago

    Took them long enough to realize that Firefox and Opera don’t validate Windows before installing. If blocking IE use was MS’ way of “punishing” people, it was a laughable punishment at best and only helped their competition.

    • Jigar
    • 12 years ago

    Somethings fishy here …. May be they want to know how many pirate copies are floatiing in the market.

    • Compy
    • 12 years ago

    I run IE because in IE6 there was the UseHR registry key which made it zoom to 200% (or more specifically, support higher DPI settings), and IE7 there’s page zooming, which helps with my visual impairment.

    Firefox has none of these features, so it’s tiny and small and impossible for me to read.

    so thanks MS, I now have tabs!

    – C

      • Perezoso
      • 12 years ago

      Opera has a far better zoom.

      • zarquon
      • 12 years ago

      Firefox has Ctrl-+ to quickly increase text size. And it reflows the page, so that you don’t have to scroll horisontally.

      It doesn’t increase the size of the pictures. But you can download extensions to do that. Just search for zoom on addons.mozilla.org.

      • Samlind
      • 12 years ago

      Firefox will do things you can’t even imagine.

      Let me rephrase that – for anything you can imagine, Firefox has a plugin.

      • BenBasson
      • 12 years ago

      Firefox 3.0 looks set to provide the same zoom feature as Opera, which is great. The extensions that currently exist to resize images don’t have true rescaling powers as far as I’m aware, they just bump up the image size.

      • FubbHead
      • 12 years ago

      Hold CTRL and spin the mouse wheel in Opera, and you’ll se things happening.

    • albundy
    • 12 years ago

    does ie7 come with the adblock addon that firefox has?

      • Gandhi
      • 12 years ago

      Think for a minute. This is Microsoft we are talking about. Do you think they would supply any ad-blocking software?

      • Flying Fox
      • 12 years ago

      And you have it on when surfing TR? Thank you very much……. 🙄

    • eitje
    • 12 years ago

    interesting. on all of my (legitimate) XP systems, i’ve just been re-notified that IE 7 is available. had to click “no thanks” again. 😉

    • slot_one
    • 12 years ago

    Yay! *Deletes Firefox from the 3 PCs running pirated XP and installs IE7*

    *Then puts on flame shield*

    • evermore
    • 12 years ago

    What I want to know is when they’re going to restore all the functionality to IE7 that was in IE6, so I can actually stand to upgrade.

    • idiotrepublican
    • 12 years ago

    BULLSHIT!

    Microsoft has always allowed for pirating up to the point that they became a monopoly. Pirating for Microsoft is a way of allowing them to gain market share at the expense of short term profits. Now that their are other options than Explorer for browsers(I proudly use Firefox-although they should really fix that java password bug) Microsoft is going back to their ‘A’ game and allowing their software to be used on any machine. At least thats my opinion on the matter.

    • Gandhi
    • 12 years ago

    I see it as a desperate bid to reverse the slow slide in IE market share against the free browsers

      • bdwilcox
      • 12 years ago

      Ding, ding, ding! We have a winna!!!!!

      • ssidbroadcast
      • 12 years ago

      Yeah I was gonna say that. (FireFox ~28% in Europe)

        • JustAnEngineer
        • 12 years ago

        Europe may be a land of pirates, but doesn’t Asia lead the world in intellectual property theft?

          • evermore
          • 12 years ago

          To be fair, they also lead the world in PEOPLE.

            • ssidbroadcast
            • 12 years ago

            “If hate were people, I’d be China!”

      • Convert
      • 12 years ago

      Hardly.

      I love firefox as much as the next geek but I hardly see this as a desperate move. It’s a leaky faucet, not a broken water main.

      I am thinking IE is slipping by what, a .5%-3% every six months if Firefox is having a good streak?

        • SPOOFE
        • 12 years ago

        Not necessarily “desperate”, no… it’d take something mighty interesting to make Microsoft “desperate” in any sense that the Average Joe could relate to. But I would say it sure looks like a hefty correlation.

          • Gandhi
          • 12 years ago

          I dunno, seems desperate to me given Microsoft’s *stated* stance on piracy

          §[<http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20071004-seeking-market-share-microsoft-removes-wga-anti-piracy-check-from-ie7.html<]§

            • SPOOFE
            • 12 years ago

            I’m just saying it’s hard to describe a very profitable company with more money than God as “desperate”, even if they’re not maintaining their Vader-esque grip on a particular market. I would describe it as “prudent” to change their minds this early into the realization that their previous stance isn’t working.

            • Gandhi
            • 12 years ago

            Just because you have more money than god right now does not make you invincible. Microsoft has a cash pile of $28B on its balance sheet and $279B market cap. But all that can vanish pretty quick (especially the latter) if investors turn sour on MS. And the last five years, Microsoft stock has gone nowhere.

            Faster, nimbler, more aggressive competitors are gunning for Microsoft – Nintendo, Apple and Google in the various markets. A public utility also makes more money than god, and often can be a state-regulated monopoly. But it does not make you invincible.

            Microsoft is desperate to grow beyond its Windows and Office hegemony. So far it has not succeeded – at least not in terms of making money. Failed miserably actually.

            • SPOOFE
            • 12 years ago

            Yes, thank you for expanding on the differences in perspective between a massive corporation and an average person. Now you understand, I trust, why I specifically referred to the latter.

    • Tumbleweed
    • 12 years ago

    I’d be willing to bet this has more to do with fasely-accused pirates having trouble installing IE7 than anything else. Mostly likely it proved to be more trouble than it was worth, since the WGA stuff clearly has a very high false-positive rate.

    • indeego
    • 12 years ago

    Next up, press “alt” key to remove the ribbon bar in Office 2007g{

    • PerfectCr
    • 12 years ago

    Pirates use IE7? I thought they knew better?

      • ReAp3r-G
      • 12 years ago

      haha my thoughts exactly

      Firefox FTW!!!

      • SPOOFE
      • 12 years ago

      Not every software pirate is computer savvy… in fact, technically, I’d guess that few are. Most “pirates” aren’t the guys ripping CD .ISOs and distributing ’em over Bittorrent… most are people that simply know a guy that gives ’em copies of software, without ever really knowing how the original guy got it in the first place.

        • WildBenchv2
        • 12 years ago

        Err, pirated copies of IE7 have been around for quite sometime, so that makes this pretty useless from that point of view…

    • Eckre
    • 12 years ago

    I *highly* doubt anyone that pirates uses IE7.

    I still wonder why any aware person does.

      • UberGerbil
      • 12 years ago

      Lots of people have pirate XP copies without knowing it. Lots more people run pirate copies they got, wink wink, with their machines — much of the developing world, for example. Plenty of those people use IE without a second thought.

        • ZOX
        • 12 years ago

        I worked at computer shop and we sold PC’s without OS but offered WinXP to our costumers and told them they were illegal copies. None refused. Although I belive others didn’t even tell the consumer they were putting illegal copies of OS.

        I am myself using illegal copy of WinXP since my laptop came with Vista Home Premium preinstalled and I can’t return that copy and get WinXP because this works for Businness version only. And one can actually pass genuine verification with illegal copy 🙂

        Anyway, I think it’s a move clearly orientated to make IE statistics better using outdated system. Desperate move …

        Greetings from Europe!

    • albundy
    • 12 years ago

    “The validation step prevented IE7 from being installed on pirated versions of Windows XP.”

    says you. There are other ways.

    • UberGerbil
    • 12 years ago

    Both decisions — banning pirate copies from getting IE and hiding the menu bar by default — were bad ones. Good to see them reverse themselves, even if it’s a bit late.

      • Flying Fox
      • 12 years ago

      I don’t know, I think the hiding of the menu bar can be a good thing. I found myself almost never use it with a browser window, so it is wasted screen space for me.

      As for the pirate banning, well, I guess they are doing what Bioshock devs say they are going to do? Which is to turn on piracy check for a while, get most people to go legit, and then take away the check later on?

        • kvndoom
        • 12 years ago

        I can’t imagine many people paid 140+ bucks for an XP license just to use IE7.

          • Flying Fox
          • 12 years ago

          No, but WGA did wake a fair number of people up to go legit.

          The ones bent on pirating it will ignore them of course. Microsoft was not planning to “get them all” because they knew they couldn’t.

    • droopy1592
    • 12 years ago

    Yarrrrr, pirate day was almost 3 weeks ago! To ye download page!

      • ssidbroadcast
      • 12 years ago

      “Yarr even a rum-soaked land lubber such as m’self knows thar be more than one def’nition to a werrrd.”

    • Logdan
    • 12 years ago

    Arrrrrr Matey… to the download page!

      • BiffStroganoffsky
      • 12 years ago

      You aren’t a very good pirate else you would have had IE7 on your system already…if you wanted it. To the plank with you!

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