Microsoft has released instructions for fixing the Internet Explorer installations messed up earlier this week by an update. The fix entails editing the Windows Registry, that hulking configuration database that is the bane of all consumers (due to how often it gets corrupted).
Apparently, the problem affects certain customized installations of IE6 on WinXP SP2. While Microsoft didn’t say what customizations caused the problem, users of some newsgroups speculate that the problem was related to antivirus software, seeing as how users of Norton (Symantec) and McAfee users who experienced the problem were able to solve it by uninstalling the patch, uninstalling the antivirus software, reinstalling the patch, and reinstalling the security suites.
So, Microsoft issues instructions involving editing the Registry. Why do they always do that? Can’t they provide a simple patch file to do it automatically? So often I have seen Knowledge Base articles with instructions for delving into the Registry, but it is rare to find someone comfortable with tweaking those values. I myself shudder at the thought of messing with my Registry. My grandmother, more the average computer user, would be lost. Same goes for those convoluted configuration file edits. Make an EXE or an MSI package, Microsoft; don’t leave your often-clueless users to fend for themselves!