You catch 'em, we kill 'em

IE7 icon missing On WinXP Desktop

, posted: 26-Sep-2008 18:04

My poor technician must have freaked out earlier today when his boss (me) suddenly burst into fits of hysterical laughter and couldn't stop giggling for at least 5 minutes.

The thing that provoked such mirth was a couple of lines from the Microsoft Help section. It read like a cross between Monty Pythons Cheese Skit and a programmers joke. The lines in question are bolded below.

Internet Explorer icon might be missing after either you upgrade the
Internet Explorer version to 7, or installed through Windows updates.

Back to the top

is not an issue and is by design.
Unlike the previous versions of
Internet Explorer, the option to enable to Internet Explorer icon on
the Windows Desktop is not available. The behavior of Internet Explorer
7, which is bundled with Windows Vista is also the same.


As a programmer I know that poor programming practice* leading to buggy functionality is often passed off on the poor unsuspecting customer as a 'feature' or an implementation 'by design'. For Microsoft to state that the ability to put the Internet Explorer icon on the desktop or Start Menu is not an issue and is by design is ludicrous. Further more for Service Pack Three to REMOVE the icon from the Start Menu or Desktop or even worse, to change the functionality of the icon to bring up Internet Properties instead of starting IE is doubly idiotic.

Some claim it is part of Microsoft's anti-trust agreement responsibilities to have the icon removed and to also remove the ability to put the icon on the desktop as part of the display properties. Personally I think that is bollocks too. How long ago were the anti-trust hearings? Years. To take this long is a mockery of anti-trust, if indeed that was the causative action.

Secondly - with the advent of service pack three, Microsoft's IE components and Internet Explorer security properties are more tightly integrated with the system than ever. As an example, to Install Mozilla Firefox version 3 requires IE 7, or at least some of its components to be present. Why? Because without them some of the dialog boxes and under laying componentry is not present causing the failure of Mozilla 3 during installation.

Further more Mozilla Firefox Three is now so affected by the internet settings in XP that in order to tighten IE 7 to stop downloading and running active X ( and other executable code ) in the Internet Zone also disables downloads in Mozilla Firefox Three (Ref 1). It is now impossible to cripple IE's active X vulnerability completely without also crippling Mozilla's ability to download programmes. While some of these problems stem from Mozilla developers tying Firefox into the Internet Security Panel (Ref 2), the rest also points to Microsoft's embedding of IE in the operating system. Again, try removing IE7 and watch how fast Mozilla Firefox, and presumably other applications, fail.

As this blog entry isn't a rant about MS or how IE is such a PITA I wont go into detail about the fact that if you start IE7, after it has upgraded itself, you have no ability to set the default page until you stop pushing cancel and start answering the damn questions about security and settings you have ... eeerrr .. had already dealt with previously and that has now been reverted by MS with the IE 7 upgrade.

Did I mention that trying to tell IE7 to push off and not bother me with Live Search (AKA dead useless) as I am already using Lycos, or google, or yahoo or wiki or ....bugger!!!!!  There is now only live seach - and if I click on - "Go make another search engine the default" - Mozilla pops up as the default browser so I have to enable IE7 as the default browser to get rid of live search tool bar and then re-enable Mozilla as the default browser.

No IE7 tie in to the operating system - hah - my left testicale is less tied in to me than IE is to Microsofts OS.

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* DISCLAIMER - Not my programming practices - other peoples. I just had to explain or fix up their bollocks - honest injun - it wasn't me.

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nunz's profile

Shane Hollis
New Zealand

Shane started Virusbusters twelve years ago to provide fixed price IT support for home users.

Daily battles through the world of viruses, spammers and other malware has left an indelible impression on him so he decided to try to give back some of the help he has received over time.

Hopefully crazy ideas, virus removal tips and other help can be found in this new blog. who knows, it might even be worth reading one day.