Microsoft released a comprehensive update for Windows 7 Beta Tuesday aimed at plugging numerous compatibility and reliability holes in Internet Explorer 8.
The comprehensive update patches an array of stability problems that include crashes, hangs and memory issues on Windows 7 Beta caused by IE as well as third-party components such as Adobe Flash, Adobe Acrobat and others. The patch also fixes glitches in PDF file printing and includes a change that improves cookie management.
Microsoft researchers said that the update was prompted by user feedback, which brought attention to existing problems with IE8 and other applications running on Windows 7.
"We found that approximately 10 percent of customers who had downloaded the Windows 7 Beta had experienced some type of reliability problem in IE," said Herman Ng, Microsoft program manager, in an IE blog post. "We also found that a small number of users were experiencing crashes on a more regular basis and that about 1.5 percent of all Internet Explorer sessions had encountered a crash."
Altogether, about 50 percent reported reliability problems stemmed from 17 unique issues. Ng said that IE was responsible for about 40 percent of the reliability problems, while 60 percent were caused by third-party components.
Ng said that Microsoft worked with its third-party partners to address many of the issues, either by working around the problem inside IE or preventing the third-party application from loading.
"Because users generally have lots of toolbars and extensions installed, it's common to see this many third-party components at the top of our failure curve," Ng said.
The newly released update is available via Windows Update, and also can be downloaded via Microsoft Update.