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Walmart’s Employee Benefits Web Site Requires Microsoft Internet Explorer in 2022

Posted in Microsoft, Windows at 5:00 am by Guest Editorial Team

Reprinted with permission from Ryan

OO October 15th, open enrollment for next year’s benefits started for Walmart employees.

It was all going well until we had to set up beneficiaries.

When I got to that part, the entire page looked old, gross, and vaguely Microsoft Internet Explorer-ish.

Sure enough, when I clicked on the buttons in a modern Web browser, nothing happened.

Soon, I was left figuring out how to load a Windows 10 Enterprise Edition 90 day evaluation copy into VirtualBox from an image supplied by Microsoft…..

Yeah, I’m serious.

I was disgusted that it took up most of an afternoon to get the appliance working.

Fedora, for its part, was entirely unhelpful because to set up VirtualBox, you pretty much (1) have to have “Secure” boot turned off so it won’t reject the kernel modules (that’s fine, I already had that crap turned off anyway), (2) make sure that dkms and kernel-devel are installed, even though VirtualBox doesn’t depend on them.

It uses akmods to build kernel modules for VirtualBox to use (kmods), and finally after a while of jiggery pokery, I was able to load the virtual appliance and run Internet Explorer to get at the beneficiaries page.

It was even more horrible than I imagined. Not just because the virtual machine ran like shit, or because Microsoft hasn’t bothered to re-base it on a current version of Windows 10 that has had security patches, but because in the end I had to use Internet Explorer, which I did not ever use as my default browser.

Which I took pride in removing from Windows 98, lock, stock, and barrel, with RoM II SE when I was a teenager.

I wasn’t especially displeased with Windows in the 1990s, until they welded this unstable bloated piece of junk into the guts of Windows 98.

They never admitted it, of course, but it wasn’t as integrated as they said it was, and without its bloated web-ified Active Desktop shit (RoM replaced the shell with the one from Windows 95 OSR 2.1), it was actually very stable.

One time I even hit the 37 day bug and had Windows crash, but for some reason, someone at Microsoft noticed that and patched it. Given that I was never able to keep Windows 98 running for more than a day or two with Internet Explorer in it, I wonder how anyone even found that bug.

That would be an interesting question to have answered on Raymond Chen’s blog, but due to politics, I doubt anyone from Microsoft will ever admit, they probably removed Internet Explorer from their computers too and then hit the bug and decided it annoyed them.

True to form, the Windows Blog has a post raving about their own IE Mode in Microsoft Edge. “Dual Engine Advantage”…..LOL

They have some corporate customers, apparently Walmart wasn’t the only big company to write an incredibly big pile of shit using Internet Explorer and then leave it there for all time, saying how much use they’re getting out of IE Mode for Microsoft Edge.

Of course, there is a Microsoft Edge for “Linux”, but it wouldn’t do you any good to install it trying to get at an IE Mode.

See, IE Mode isn’t some emulation of IE.

Internet Explorer 11 is actually still there, in Windows 11, baked into the operating system. Receiving only the bare minimum amount of patching to fix security holes and to put new TLS certificates into it so you still can point it at a Web server.

Windows 11 has an embarrassing oversight that Bleeping Computer revealed a while back, where you can still start Internet Explorer 11 in browser mode, and it’s fully functional, but you have to go through the Legacy Control Panel to get to it.

In many respects, Windows 11 is about the furthest thing from a modern computer operating system there is.

For Star Trek: Picard fans, it’s more like the Hellish Alternate Timeline that Q created, where humanity became fascists and kept raping the environment and glossed over the destruction of the biosphere with a giant shield over the planet.

“They didn’t fix anything….”, Q explains….”Here, they just tend to the corpse.”

Windows has basically ran its course. The minute Microsoft drops IE Mode and the other “But this mess we have needs that to run.” garbage is the minute that the last person to leave Windows turns out the lights.

Oh they say they’ll support it until 2029 as a well tended corpse, but will they really?

Could be more, could be less. Why trust them? Why pay them forever and beg them to keep this mess on the road?

If you’re not fixing your applications now, you’ll be paying Microsoft a lot of money for legacy support (because that’s what Windows is now, a failing platform with legacy support options) and fixing the application later anyway, probably when you make the move to GNU/Linux.

When one thing fails, Microsoft doesn’t take their lumps and learn their lesson and design something that works. But they do design something else. And along with that something else, they leave behind a pile of skulls from their other abortive attempts.

Consider how many terminals and shells Windows has now, including some from the “Linux subsystem”.

But the fact that it has three Web browsers and two of them don’t even allow you to open them anymore (but are still there) is more amusing than that.

Windows is utter crap. It’s just a complete garbage pit, literally. They just give up on things, leave them there forever, and go make another mess.

They themselves have a nicer euphemism. “Technical debt.”

The fact that they have their own term for the mess that they caused and still proceed to make the mess worse is entertaining.

I have no idea what I’ll do if I need to use that page again in the future. Maybe try to find some way to load the Windows 11 evaluation edition in the VM, but that won’t be for at least a year. Hopefully, someone at Walmart fixes it.

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