In the new year Microsoft is to begin the process of automatically upgrading Windows users who are using old versions of the Internet Explorer to the latest and greatest version, IE9. But how will users who have resisted the upgrade so far react to being given a shove?
Note: Microsoft will start the upgrade process in January with customers in Australia and Brazil who have switched on automatic updating via Windows Update.
In my experience there are three categories of user who haven't already updated to IE9:
- Users who are stuck on an old version because upgrading will break something critical. These users are likely to have already blocked or refused an upgrade and won't get pushed the new version.
- Users who don't know that there is a new version. Not everyone is a tech-head, which is why browsers such as Chrome and Firefox already have an automatic update mechanism built into the browser. Most users here will take their medicine and upgrade, but there will undoubtedly be some users who, when faced with the new browser, might start looking elsewhere. A new update might cause some users who have been thinking of switching to give Firefox or Chrome a try, while others might hold off to see what the new browser has to offer.
- People who have IE installed (most Windows users) but who are using another browser and don't care about IE. These folks have already switched, so don't care. But from a security standpoint it might be a good idea for these folks to upgrade their legacy browser even if it's not in use. It's possible that a small number of these users might give IE a second chance, but I wouldn't expect that to be significant.
It'll be interesting to see what being offered IE9 will have on users. According to both StatCounter and NetMarketShare the decline that in usage share that IE was suffering seems to have come to a halt (most of the usage share changes are now down to Chrome grabbing users from Firefox).
My feeling is that IE9 might (temporarily at any rate) bump IE's usage share as take the new browser for a spins. What happens after the honeymoon period is over is anyone's guess.
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