Microsoft says it is instituting automatic updates of Internet Explorer browser for Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7, beginning with users in Australia and Brazil in January. The update will be delivered via Windows Update, but users can opt out and upgrade at their own pace. This approach follows a more subtle campaign using social media.
"Our goal is to make sure that Windows customers have the most up-to-date and safest browsing experience possible, with the best protections against malicious software such as malware," Microsoft stated.
"We're re-issuing the Internet Explorer 9 or Internet Explorer 8 Windows Update and removing the additional UI prompt so that it is installed without additional user interaction for a more seamless experience for the end user. The update will ship as a high-priority update for XP and Important class update for Vista and Windows 7. Once issued, this update will install Internet Explorer 8 for users on XP SP3 that are still using IE7 and IE6; users on Vista SP2 and Windows 7 RTM and SP1 will be moved to Internet Explorer 9," informs Microsoft.
"Now that we're in 2011, in an era of modern web standards, it's time to say goodbye," Microsoft writes on its own "Death to IE6" countdown site.
The company says "The important point is that with IE you still have the option of using a particular version. For most customers, no extra effort is needed to exercise this option. There're several reasons why, one is that this package will not be shipped via the WSUS and Microsoft update site catalog channel. If you'e using WSUS to manage windows update, you will not need to worry. Furthermore, administrator rights will be required for installation, so end users without appropriate privileges will not be able to bypass browser IT policies."
"Since, IE is a browser for all Windows customers; the auto-upgrade mechanism is designed with Enterprise customers in mind as well. We understand that companies have business reasons to rely on a one specific version of the browser and they need support. The auto-upgrade mechanism doesn't change the support lifecycle of the browser - an IE version will continue to be supported until the underlying OS it ships on expires. This means that if you'he taken a dependency on a particular version of IE, the support for that version doesn't end simply because of the introduction of the auto-upgrade mechanism," notes Microsoft.