Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Windows Server 2003 SP2 - Default Web Page in Internet Explorer 6.0

A number of users on our corporate network have brought to my attention that their default home page has switched from whatever they had set to This all occurred after I upgraded the operating system for several servers to Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2.

This may be old news to many IT managers, but I was still surprised to confirm the "problem". We run terminal services and thin-client devices for most of our users; in fact, even those with notebooks and desktops access the network resources through Remote Desktop Connection. As you may know, terminal services provisions Internet Explorer browser services according to individual profiles. Thus my surprise that all users had their default home page reset to MSN.

I wonder how many network administrators write logon scripts or hack the registry to set the default web page (e.g. [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main] "Start Page"=

I can understand how the initial installation of an operating system will set the default home page of the browser to a Microsoft site like MSN. That's really a no-brainer. But it's not nearly so obvious to me why an update to an operating system should switch user's default home page back again. That seems to me to be a blunt marketing instrument.

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