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I often use the MSDN website for language reference. In order to make navigation faster, I downloaded the offline version of SQL Server 2005 Books Online from here:

The reason why it is 137MB is that it comes with its own GUI, which, not surprisingly, is rather poor! Apparently though, the pages are written in html. The URIs look like: ms-help://MS.SQLCC.v9/sqlcc9/html/674933a8-e423-4d44-a39b-2a997e2c2333.htm . I can open the URI in IE, but with errors. Do you know if I can open them with Firefox and how? Or is there a simple HTML version of "MS Books Online", for example in a ZIP file?

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ms-help is a proprietary Microsoft format, created when MS was forced to accept HTML as a standard. MS of course retaliated by creating its own non-standard version of the standard.

This should work well in IE if the help is well installed.
I don't think there's much hope of getting it to work in Firefox.

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