Either Microsoft is throwing a bone to pirates in the name of offering more secure computing for all, they’re desperate to get a larger Internet Explorer 7 install base, or they’re attempting to eliminate the need to support for IE6 altogether. As of this morning, you can get IE7 without needing to validate against Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA).
According to the announcement:
Microsoft takes its commitment seriously in helping protect the entire Windows ecosystem. Security enhancements to Internet Explorer 7 include a built-in Phishing Filter that prevents an average of 900,000 visits per week to known phishing Web sites. Additionally, Internet Explorer 7 is the first and only browser to natively support Extended Validation SSL Certificates to help prevent online fraud.
Internet Explorer 7 makes it safer and easier to accomplish everyday tasks online. It has a streamlined look and enhanced capabilities that make everyday tasks â€” such as tabbed browsing that makes browsing multiple sites easierâ€” simple and fast.
The primary modification consumers will notice is the Menu bar is turned on by default. For first time users, the first-run experience includes a new, easily accessible Internet Explorer 7 overview, and the on-line Internet Explorer 7 tour has been updated to include how-toâ€™s on great new features like tabbed browsing. This is an update to the availability of Internet Explorer 7 and not a new version of the browser.
Also, for IT Pros, weâ€™ve updated the Internet Explorer 7 Administration Kit (IEAK7) to include the ability to create an MSI package for enterprises that simplifies deployment for customers who prefer to distribute via Group Policy or those who are not using a corporate update management solution such as Systems Management Server (SMS) 2003 or Software Update Services (SUS). IT Administrators need only define a Group Policy setting to deploy a branded IE7 package to relevant units within their organization.
The only caveat is IE7 will follow this model in English, German, Japanese, French, Spanish, Korean, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese initially, with other languages to follow before the end of the year.
You can download IE7 immediately with no need to jump through the WGA hoop.