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Monday, May 21, 2007

Google Toolbar 64-bit Internet Explorer Support (x64)

Ok, so I have the great new computer – the Dell E520 which is the first x64 (64-bit) system that I have owned. In the midst of all that excitement of improved performance and productivity, I assumed that most software tools were available in the x64 (64-bit) architecture since x64 Windows XP Professional had been available for some time. As you may know, I sure was fooled.

Today, I began setting up my new machine running x64 (64-bit) Windows Vista and noticed that Internet Explorer 64-bit was available. Great, I WANT to use that one, it must be better. Upon opening, I noticed the Google Toolbar was not available. What? Ok, so I right-click to see the available toolbars for Internet Explorer 64-bit – no Google Toolbar. Then, I went back to Google to see if there was an additional download for x64 and I did not see any. I attempted to install the standard Google Toolbar in Internet Explorer 64-bit, and received an error message.

A quick scan of Microsoft’s website led me to this particular knowledge base (KB) article which describes the support of various toolbars in Internet Explorer 64-bit. The bottom line is that most, including the Google Toolbar do not support the x64 version of Internet Explorer. Complete downer, for one – I cannot believe that Google has not build the x64 version of the Google Toolbar, and two I cannot believe Microsoft did not do a better job of making sure the other toolbars supported Internet Explorer 64-bit.

For now, looks like I will be moving back to the 32-bit version of Internet Explorer (x86). Unfortunately, I am too tied to the Google Toolbar right now and would rather deal with currently unnoticed performance than live without it. Hopefully Google will get its act together soon with the Google Toolbar.

On another note, I still yet to install Apple’s iTunes on my computer. The rumor is that there is problems with that and Vista – we’ll see!


Anonymous said...

Get the Google Toolbar by opening the toolbar page at Google where you manage it and save that site in the 64 Bit IE. You can then open it in a different TAB and use the links from there.

Anonymous said...

(C) MS

Interopability with existing technologies
The differences between the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Internet Explorer can affect toolbar add-ins and Microsoft ActiveX controls. For example, 32-bit toolbar add-ins do not work in the 64-bit version of Internet Explorer. These add-ins include the MSN toolbar, the AOL toolbar, the eBay toolbar, and the Google toolbar. You can install 32-bit toolbars in the 32-bit version of Internet Explorer. However, the 32-bit toolbars will not appear in the 64-bit version of Internet Explorer.

For example, when you start the Setup program for the 32-bit Google toolbar in the 64-bit version of Internet Explorer, the Google Setup program closes the 64-bit Internet Explorer window. The Google Setup program opens a new 32-bit Internet Explorer window when setup is completed. The Google toolbar appears in the 32-bit version of Internet Explorer, and the toolbar works correctly. The 32-bit Google toolbar is not installed in the 64-bit version of Internet Explorer.

By design, the 64-bit version of Internet Explorer cannot host 32-bit ActiveX controls. Additionally, the 32-bit version of Internet Explorer cannot host 64-bit ActiveX controls.

Ken Hanscom said...

Thanks for the details from the Microsoft site. However, my point was slightly different. Not that Internet Explorer did not support 32-bit toolbars and ActiveX controls -- rather, that Microsoft did not get the support they needed from popular 3rd party providers to launch 64-bit versions of them at launch. Solving the problem with partnership rather than technology.