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Chapter 2 - Working With Different Platforms

This chapter identifies the platforms on which you can install Microsoft® Internet Explorer 6 and Internet Tools and describes the deployment variations among the supported platforms. This information is particularly important if you are deploying Internet Explorer on multiple platforms.

Related Information in the Resource Kit

  • For more information about planning your browser deployment for different platforms, see "Planning the Deployment." 

  • For more information about customizing Internet Explorer for different platforms, see "Running the Microsoft Internet Explorer Customization Wizard." 

  • For more information about installing Internet Explorer on different platforms, see "Deploying Microsoft Internet Explorer 6." 

Overview: Platform Support

Internet Explorer 6 provides support for the following platforms:

  • Windows 32-bit versions, including the Microsoft Windows® .NET Server family of operating systems, Microsoft® Windows® XP Home Edition, Windows XP Professional, Microsoft® Windows® 2000, Microsoft® Windows® Millennium Edition (Me), Microsoft® Windows® 98 Second Edition (SE), Windows 98, and Microsoft® Windows NT® 4.0 

  • Windows XP 64-Bit Edition 

Important Internet Explorer 6 does not support the Windows 16-bit, UNIX, and Apple Macintosh platforms. If your users are running Microsoft® Windows® 95, they can install Internet Explorer 5.5 or earlier.

Internet Explorer 6 provides a single, standards-based set of technologies for Web authoring, browsing, communication, and collaboration for the Windows 32-bit and 64-bit platforms.

If you plan to customize Internet Explorer 6 for the Windows platforms, you should consider the following issues:

  • Planning the deployment. To deploy Internet Explorer successfully, you need to determine the platform and browser requirements for all groups that are targeted to migrate to Internet Explorer. For more information about planning your deployment on Windows platforms, see "Planning the Deployment" in this Resource Kit. 

  • Conducting a pilot program. Before you deploy Internet Explorer to your users, you should conduct a pilot program to test the browser on your installation platforms. For more information about conducting a pilot program, see "Setting Up and Administering a Pilot Program" in this Resource Kit. 

  • Building custom browser packages. You can use the Internet Explorer Customization Wizard, which is part of the Internet Explorer 6 Administration Kit (IEAK), to build custom packages of Internet Explorer. For more information about the Internet Explorer Customization Wizard, see "Running the Microsoft Internet Explorer Customization Wizard" in this Resource Kit. 

  • Maintaining browser versions. You can use Windows XP and Windows 2000 Group Policy or the IEAK Profile Manager to administer Internet Explorer on the Windows platforms. These tools enable you to update browser settings and manage different versions of the browser from a single location. For more information about using Group Policy and the IEAK Profile Manager, see "Keeping Programs Updated" in this Resource Kit. 

Windows Platform: 32-bit Versions

The 32-bit versions of the Windows platform integrate Internet technology and browser features directly into the operating system. This browser-platform integration means that users who run 32-bit versions of Windows can take advantage of advanced browsing capabilities. Users can browse their hard disk, their local area network (LAN), or the Internet to quickly find the information they need. Using Internet Explorer, they can quickly navigate the Web by using the Search, History, and Favorites bars or get information delivered directly to their computers for offline viewing.

Some Internet Explorer customization features, deployment methods, and maintenance practices are specific to 32-bit versions of Windows.

You should consider the following issues when you deploy Internet Explorer 6 on 32-bit versions of Windows:

  • CD-ROM installation. If you distribute your custom browser package to users who run 32-bit versions of Windows from a CD-ROM, a splash-screen AutoRun application appears when users insert the disc. This application offers them the choice of installing your custom browser or viewing more information. If the current version of Internet Explorer is already installed, AutoRun detects it. The browser appears in kiosk (full-screen) mode, if you have enabled this feature by using the Internet Explorer Customization Wizard, with the Start.htm file or your own custom start page loaded. 

  • Administrative privileges. For Windows NT 4.0, you must have administrative privileges to install and uninstall Internet Explorer and Internet Tools. Users, therefore, must have administrative privileges the first time they start their computers after installing or uninstalling Internet Explorer and Internet Tools. 

  • Setup download folder. You can find the IE6Setup.exe file in the media type folder created for your language and platform version. For example, the English version of Internet Explorer for 32-bit versions of Windows would reside in the \Download\Win32\En folder of your build directory. 

  • Code signing. If you are distributing Internet Explorer and Internet Tools over the Internet or an intranet, you should sign custom cabinet (.cab) files created by the Internet Explorer Customization Wizard for 32-bit versions of Windows. This is recommended unless you preconfigure the Local intranet zone with the Low security setting. You should also sign any custom components that you distribute with your custom browser packages. Code signing lets users know that they can trust your code before downloading it to their computers. The default settings in Internet Explorer reject unsigned code. If you have a digital certificate, the Internet Explorer Customization Wizard can sign these files automatically. 

    Options for digital certificates are not available for Windows XP and Windows 2000 in the IEAK Profile Manager, because these operating systems provide advanced certificate-management features. For more information, search for "digital certificates" in Windows XP Help and Support Center or in Windows 2000 Help. 

  • Single-disk branding. When you build custom browser packages by using the Internet Explorer Customization Wizard, you can choose the single-disk branding option for your media type. This option customizes an existing installation of Internet Explorer. It does not install Internet Explorer and Internet Tools. 

  • Windows XP and Windows 2000 Administration. For Windows XP and Windows 2000, you can use Group Policy to customize and manage Internet Explorer settings. Group Policy enables administrators to customize and control settings for users and computers in various groups across an organization. For more information about using Group Policy, see "Keeping Programs Updated" in this Resource Kit. 

    For more information, consult the Windows XP or Windows 2000 Setup documentation. 

Windows Platform: 64-bit Version

A 64-bit version of Internet Explorer and Internet Tools is part of the Windows XP 64-Bit Edition operating system. For this version of Windows, you can customize the browser by using Group Policy. For more information, see the Microsoft Windows XP Administration Kit.

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