As pointed out in previous posts, Microsoft is urging all XP users to download and install IE 7 because of its much improved security features over version 6. To this end, the Windows XP monthly update system will include the installation of IE 7 as a critical update (there’s a blocking tool for corporate users who don’t think they’re quite ready yet).
There’s no special dramas involved in downloading and installing IE 7 yourself – just go to the Windows Internet Explorer 7 homepage to get started (it’s a 14.8Mb download).
The only requirements for a successful installation on Windows XP is that you’re running XP with Service Pack 2 and that your copy of Windows XP is valid.
After the download is complete and click Run to start the installation, the first check carried out is to see whether your copy of Windows is valid. If you pass this (as you should), the installation begins by running the Malicious Software Removal Tool to ensure there are no bugs (viruses or spyware) on your system.
After you agree to the licence terms and begin the install, it won’t be long before you’ll be asked to restart your computer. When it restarts it complete the installation of IE 7.
Now’s the time to start IE 7 and the first time it runs, you’ll have a couple of settings to make:
- turn on the anti-phishing filter so you don’t get caught out by malicious sites which want to steal your personal details such as credit card number and passowrd
- set your language (e.g., English-Australia)
- turn on ClearType so your monitor more clearly displays text (ClearType may be already turned on if you’re using a laptop – if not, you’ll soon notice the difference on both LCD screens and old-fashioned CRT monitors).
To calm down the more frenzied Microsoft opponents, you’re able to set your search provider – if you don’t want to do it during the install process, you can always use the drop down at the top right of your screen when a site offers a different search provider.
If this is your first look at IE 7, take the tour from the page that opens after you’ve changed your settings listed above or you can do the tour of IE 7’s features at IE 7’s homepage.
It’s worth spending some time becoming familiar with using the tabs so you can open as many sites as you want from just one copy of IE running on your computer. webDotWiz now makes lots of use of the right-click on a link on a page (e.g., ABC News) to load different stories or sites each on its own tab in the background while leaving the main page open and being able to continue skimming that page for more sites that might be of interest.
The toolbar and menus we’ve been familiar with in IE 6 have been replaced so that there’s more screen real estate for web pages so you might take a while to get used to the re-arrangement. For example, Favorites now isn’t just confined to favourite web sites but also includes RSS feeds (Really Simple Syndication) you can subscribe to.
As with any new software, give yourself time to learn your way around and it won’t be long before you appreciate the speed, stability and security offered by Internet Explorer 7.