Why Does Microsoft Love to Be Cryptic? What is IS7-VIS3.rar? Or IE7-VIS1.exe? Or IE7-VIS2.rar?

In a sudden urge to test my site in as many browsers as possible, I came across a link to Microsoft’s free distribution of virtual machines with various versions of IE. And there I ran into a roadblock. Remember when I grumbled about their use of cryptic acronyms in one of their announcements? Well, it’s not just their announcements. Even their download links are cryptic.

The web page tells you that you can download Virtual PC images with IE 6 and IE 7. Then it proceeds to list the various files that you can download – by shortened filenames. Take a look at this. What do you make of them?

  • IE6_VPC.EXE – okay, I can figure this out. It’s IE 6 in a Virtual PC image. That’s okay so far.
  • IE7_VPC.EXE – this must be IE 7 in a Virtual PC image.
  • IE7-VIS1.exe – is this IE 7 running on Vista? If so, then what’s the next one?
  • IE7-VIS2.rar – IE 7 running on Vista? Again? Or perhaps it’s because it’s packaged in a RAR archive. But wait – there’s more…
  • IS7-VIS3.rar – IE 7 running on Vista! Again! In a RAR archive! Again! Will wonders never cease?
  • IE8_VPC.EXE – IE 8 (huh?) in a Virtual PC image.

What good are all these filenames to the downloader? Why give the filenames at all? Don’t these wizards at Microsoft realize that you can give a link a different text from the actual filename? Not everyone in the world automatically knows what you mean when you give these cryptic filenames from the MSDOS era. They should at least give a description if they feel compelled to write the filename.

Anyway, if you can tell the difference between those VIS filenames, let me know in the comments. I’m just gonna download the IE6 image for now.

Yeah. And I noticed the IE 8 thing too. I think it’s probably just a beta. I’ll investigate and post again when I find out more. Update: it’s true – IE 8 beta 1 is out. Update 2: I just noticed that it’s not three IE7 links, but 2. The third one is IS7 not IE7. But what is IS7?

Filed in Web Design, Software, Windows, Browsers.

Advertisements

9 Responses to Why Does Microsoft Love to Be Cryptic? What is IS7-VIS3.rar? Or IE7-VIS1.exe? Or IE7-VIS2.rar?

  1. […] What One Hand Gives, The Other Hand Takes Away As I suspected in my previous post, the beta for IE8 is out. Although this is just a beta, Microsoft made some promises for the final […]

  2. anonymous says:

    IE7-VIS1.exe = self-extracting archive… first of 2 (or maybe 3)
    The second one is IE7-VIS2.rar.
    The filename inside the archive is “Vista Business with IE7.vhd” Size: 6.7GB (6.5GB)
    Is IS7-VIS3.rar the third? And why it’s name is IS7? Maybe a typo?

  3. florafaunarocks says:

    If it’s a typo, that means there are 3 IE7 on vista images, which leads to more questions.

  4. Anon. says:

    You are missing the forest for the trees. Did you notice that they RAR-ed this file???

  5. florafaunarocks says:

    Yeah, I did. I wondered about that too. 🙂

  6. sten says:

    hi
    # IE7-VIS1.exe – is this IE 7 running on Vista? part 1
    # IE7-VIS2.rar – IE 7 running on Vista? part 2
    # IS7-VIS3.rar – IE 7 running on Vista! part 3
    # IE8_VPC.EXE – IE 8 beta in a Virtual PC image

  7. bugmenot says:

    IS7-VIS3.rar is now IE7-VIS3.rar
    guess it was a typo…
    can anyone solve this mystery

  8. nobody says:

    the page has been updated now

  9. You’re right. They now have an explanation in their overview. And the filenames have changed.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: