Is IE7 "sneaky-ware"

I must admit that I'm thoroughly confused reading John Pallatto's column in eWEEK today. I'm not sure what his expectations were in complaining about his recent travails with the "automatic" installation of Internet Explorer 7 via Windows Update, but I'm fairly certain that subjecting himself to public ridicule wasn't at the top of the list.

I must admit that I'm thoroughly confused reading John Pallatto's column in eWEEK today. I'm not sure what his expectations were in complaining about his recent travails with the "automatic" installation of Internet Explorer 7 via Windows Update, but I'm fairly certain that subjecting himself to public ridicule wasn't at the top of the list.

You really need to read this first-hand – no amount of paraphrasing or quoting on my part really gets across the number of head-scratchers in this column. Principal among the questions I have after reading his column and the mostly negative comments in TalkBack are:

  • Do you actually read the publication you're a senior editor of? If yes, how could you not have known that Microsoft was planning on including IE7 in their scheduled monthly update? A casual search found no less than a dozen articles and posts on eWEEK discussing this decision. If you don't read your own publication well then... what are you reading?
  • As an editor at an industry standard like eWEEK, why do you think wearing your "New England thrift" on your sleeve is a good idea? Industry professionals read eWEEK to stay up to date on the ever-changing landscape in our industry. Your claim that you only update your hardware or software when what you're currently using either breaks or is rendered completely obsolete may endear you to "thrifty" consumers but it's hardly validation of your expertness for the audience of your publication.
  • I do appreciate you looking out for everyday users and I'm the first to admit that the IE7 upgrade experience has been a real nightmare for some and a non-event for others. But you're not an everyday user - you're an editor at eWEEK and striking a pose that you've been victimized like any other average Joe is just plain silly. So why the everyman, us-against-them posture?

I'm not trying to argue for or against the validity of Microsoft's decision to treat the IE7 release as a security update and release it through the Windows Update channel. That's  a done deal and one that has been discussed publicly for quite some time. And I'm not questioning that many average users will blindly accept the update as part of the Express setting and only discover that their browser has been updated after the fact – as will those who just allow automatic downloading and updating of their systems.

I'm just scratching my head wondering what Mr. Pallatto thought he might accomplish by writing this screed.

UPDATE: Ed Bott weighs in on this and agrees this is a very disturbing article and not what you'd expect from eWEEK.

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