Microsoft to push IE 9 broadly via Windows Update in late June

Microsoft to push IE 9 broadly via Windows Update in late June

Summary: Microsoft will begin pushing Internet Explorer (IE) 9 to users in earnest starting at the end of June 2011, using its Windows Update mechanism, officials said this week.

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Microsoft will begin pushing Internet Explorer (IE) 9 to users in earnest starting at the end of June 2011, using its Windows Update mechanism, officials said this week.

Microsoft released the final version of IE 9 on March 14. Microsoft "turned on" Windows Update for users who had installed the Beta and/or Release Candidate (RC) versions of its latest browser on March 29.

(Microsoft originally communicated via Twitter that IE9 would be pushed broadly via Windows Update on March 21, but later amended its story.)

I asked a Microsoft spokesperson for more details about the coming rollout. Will it be staggered? How many weeks/months will it take? Will the updates be designated as "important" or "critical"? I was told "“We will have more to share on the delivery of IE9 via WU and WSUS (Windows Server Update Services) in the coming months.”

This isn't the first time Microsoft will be pushing a version of Internet Explorer using Windows Update. Microsoft did the same with IE 8. In IE8's case, on Windows XP and Server 2003, the update as marked as high-priority. On Windows Vista and Server 2008 it was designated as "Important." Users were prompted as to whether they wanted to be asked about installing IE 8 later, to install it immediately or to not install it.

As with IE 8, there is an IE 9 blocking tool, which administrators can apply if they haven't yet adequately tested IE 9 and/or if they don't want their users to have access to it.

Microsoft officials said IE 9 was downloaded 2.3 million times in the first 24 hours it was available. As others have noted, Firefox 4 was downloaded 5.5 million times in its first 24 hours. Microsoft's March 29 "Exploring IE" blog post came off a bit defensive about the discrepancies in downloads. (But with click-bait headlines like this, I'd be defensive, too.)

Ryan Gavin, Senior Director, Internet Explorer Business and Marketing, noted in his post about measuring browser adoption:

"As a matter of fact, of the downloads we’ve seen through Sunday, March 27th, over 90% have come from non-IE9 RC and Beta users. And remember, we report completed downloads – not attempted downloads where a user may hit a download button repeatedly but without fully downloading IE9."

I've seen a couple of reports from users (thanks @Randall_Lind) who already downloaded the final version of IE 9 that they're still being prompted by Windows Update to install the final version. I've asked Microsoft why this is happening and will update this post once I get an answer.

Topics: Operating Systems, Browser, Microsoft, Software, Windows

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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82 comments
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  • If we can't get people to use it, we'll FORCE it on them.

    Typical MS tactics. They do the same with Bing and IE is no different.
    itguy08
    • Agree, why "push"?

      @itguy08

      I have said "no" to every "offer" to install IE so far, and this will be no different. MS is free to release anything they want, but not to try to ram it down the users' throats.
      Economister
      • RE: Microsoft to push IE 9 broadly via Windows Update in late June

        @Economister <br><br>Yep. God fobid Microsoft updates their software, like Google and Mozilla do. I wanna use IE8 forever!
        The one and only, Cylon Centurion
      • Or use IE8 until you're sure everything will work with IE9?

        @Cylon
        Companies may well want to stick with IE8 for now, if they have home-grown applications which were written with only IE8 in mind. Or maybe ordinary users have favorite web sites that don't work yet with IE9?

        The bottom line is that it's better if people upgrade if and when <i>they</i> are ready, not when MS tells them to.
        Zogg
      • The fan boy colored glasses....

        Cylon Centurion 0005

        block your brain function. Re-read my post S-L-O-W-L-Y and you will discover that I never said ANYTHING to even remotely suggest such nonsense. As a matter of fact I said "MS is free to release anything they want". Do you have trouble with simple concepts?
        Economister
      • RE: Microsoft to push IE 9 broadly via Windows Update in late June

        @Zogg

        you surely meant to say Companies may well want to stick with IE6... home-grown applications which were written with only IE6 in mind....

        Who would write a home grown app for IE8? That is so 90s talk ;)
        Keith.Howe
      • RE: Microsoft to push IE 9 broadly via Windows Update in late June

        Zogg, Microsoft has a blocker tool in place for companies not wishing to upgrade. But I am under the impression this is more geared toward home users, who have no reason to stay put.
        The one and only, Cylon Centurion
      • Who knows what company IT depts do behind closed doors?

        @Keith.Howe<br>Companies are free to put what they like on their own private networks, of course. But it seems plausible that an application previously written for IE6 might be modified to work with IE7, and then made to work with IE8 by putting IE8 into "IE7 compatibility mode".<br><br>Does IE9 also have an "IE7 compatibility" mode?<br><br>Alternatively, a company might have written an application and only tested it against IE8. In my experience, there's no guarantee that something that works with one release of IE will work the same with another release.
        Zogg
      • Deleted

        .
        Zogg
      • Home users have &quot;no reason&quot;, because MS says so?

        @Cylon Centurion 0005
        How insulting! And to think that some people were feigning <b>outrage</b> when Mozilla was being accused of "pushing" FF4...
        Zogg
      • RE: Microsoft to push IE 9 broadly via Windows Update in late June

        @Zogg

        I agree with you.. just poking fun.
        But this is nothing new.. Microsoft has pushed IE7, 8 and now 9 thru Windows Updates. Also giving a way for organizations to block it (as @cyclon has said).

        and yes, with any new browser.. testing is always needed.
        Keith.Howe
      • RE: Microsoft to push IE 9 broadly via Windows Update in late June

        Cylon Centurion 0005
        You use ie still on your computer why? The crappest program on earth. i don't know anyone since like ie6 release who has it installed on their machines. Firefox and Opera are the way to go. Chrome had potential but its bleak minimalist tabbed look and slow speeds make it pointless. You mention goolge and Mozilla they don't force it they offer. Microsoft packages it with system os updates
        Fletchguy
      • RE: Microsoft to push IE 9 broadly via Windows Update in late June

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    • RE: Microsoft to push IE 9 broadly via Windows Update in late June

      @itguy08: IE9 will be an optional download, just like IE8 was on Vista. It will appear in the Important list but won't be auto-installed, even if you've got Windows Update set to Download and Install automatically.

      Just set it to "Ignore" and it won't even ask you again to install it. Clearly you prefer sticking with whatever outdated version of IE is on your PC. You may not use it but plenty of third party apps use IE code.

      Your assumption has no basis on reality.
      bradavon
      • RE: Microsoft to push IE 9 broadly via Windows Update in late June

        @bradavon

        From reading the sites, I surmised that it would be enabled by default and you will have to actively turn it off.

        And for the record, I don't own a Windows PC. Never will again. I'd go back to an Abacus before I used Windows personally.

        And on my work PC I care about our data and my computer so I don't use IE. It's there but out of site and never used.
        itguy08
      • RE: Microsoft to push IE 9 broadly via Windows Update in late June

        @itguy08
        So if you hate these things and never will use them again. Why do you have such strong opinions on things you dont use. From what you are saying, its safe for me to assume you have not tried IE 9 so why do you hate it so much.
        FlatbushE21
      • &quot;From reading the sites&quot;?

        @itguy08: [i]On Windows Vista and Server 2008 it was designated as ?Important.? Users were prompted as to whether they wanted to be asked about installing IE 8 later, to install it immediately or to not install it.[/i]

        This blog clearly said the above. Had you experience with Windows you'd know that anything marked as important isn't being forced on anyone.

        But hey, why would let knowledge ruin your fantasy of Windows / Microsoft being bad when you can rely on ignorance to try and make that case instead?
        ye
    • RE: Microsoft to push IE 9 broadly via Windows Update in late June

      @itguy08
      What? You are asked which search engine you want to use upon installing IE (or running it for the first time). IE installs are never automatic. You always have the option to cancel. Oh, and let me guess. Chrome automatic updates is a good thing right? Go away, troll!
      floopydoodle
      • Message has been deleted.

        FlatbushE21