Microsoft to push latest version of IE to users starting in 2012

Microsoft to push latest version of IE to users starting in 2012

Summary: Microsoft is going to start automatically upgradingWindows PC users to the latest version of the IE browser available for their PCs, as of January next year.

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TOPICS: Browser, Microsoft
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Microsoft is going to push automatically the most recent version of its Internet Explorer (IE) browsers that is available for Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7 PCs starting in January 2012.

Microsoft announced its IE auto-upgrade plan on the "Exploring IE" blog on December 15. The move will affect those who have turned on automatic updating via Windows Update, and will start with users in Australia and Brazil.

Microsoft's rationale for the move: "The Web overall is better -- and safer -- when more people run the most up-to-date browser," in the words of post author Ryan Gavin, General Manager, Internet Explorer Business and Marketing.

It's also another piece of Microsoft's continued push to try to get users off older versions of IE so that developers won't have to continue coding to the less-standards-compliant versions of Microsoft's browser.

Microsoft is providing an opt-out for users -- which will likely be used primarily by IT admins/business users -- who aren't willing or able to run the latest version of IE. (This includes enterprise users whose companies have built applications and/or have policies that are keeping them tied to older versions like IE 6.) Enterprise users/admins who want to block Microsoft's automatic upgrade plan can use the IE 8 and IE 9 Automatic Update Blocker toolkits.

At the same time, customers who have declined to upgrade to IE 8 or IE 9 in the past when prompted by Windows Update won't be automatically updated, the Softies said. Here's more information on how users can block automatic updates of IE.

Future versions of IE -- starting with IE 10, I'd assume -- will include an option inside the product for users who want to shut off the auto-updating process, today's post said.

What do you think of Microsoft's latest move? Good for customers? Good for Microsoft (which has been dropping in terms of overall browser share this past year, especially compared to Google Chrome)? Or neither?

Update: Microsoft has added more details about its automatic-push plans and how they will and won't affect business customers over on the "Springboard Series" blog.

From that December 15 post:

"We’re re-issuing the IE9 or IE8 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."

Microsoft isn't going to deliver the coming auto-update IE "package" via Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) or Microsoft Update. And browser support policies aren't changing, the Springboard post noted; IE versions will continue to be supported as long as the underlying operating system into which they are bundled are supported.

Topics: Browser, Microsoft

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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20 comments
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  • RE: Microsoft to push latest version of IE to users starting in 2012

    what if we don't use IE - i certainly don't. Its the old MS/Apple knows best routine again.
    deaf_e_kate
    • You missed a couple

      @deaf_e_kate <br> Its the old MS/Apple/Google/Mozilla knows best routine again. Pretty much every major browser now auto-updates itself. IE was actually one of the last.
      toddybottom
      • RE: Microsoft to push latest version of IE to users starting in 2012

        @toddybottom : but who trusts MS/Apple intentions? Google/Mozilla are supplying browsers to someone else's OS so i'd trust their intentions of auto-updates a bit more than i'd trust MS/Apple. I can fully uninstall everyone else's browser from the OS.
        deaf_e_kate
      • RE: Trusting Intentions

        @deaf_e_kate

        Your commentary is fueled by hate and lack of understanding.
        bobiroc
      • If you don't trust MS, why are you even worried about IE?

        If MS wanted to do anything nasty to you, why do you think they need IE? You are clearly running Windows (since IE only runs on Windows) and if you are running Windows, MS already has the ability to do anything they want on your computer.<br><br>If you have chosen not to trust MS, that's fine but your argument about why you shouldn't trust IE on Windows makes absolutely no sense. If MS truly wanted to spy on you or do something nasty to you, they could do it through Windows.<br><br>And if you aren't running Windows then why are you worried about IE?
        toddybottom
      • Wrong, toddytroll

        You can turn automatic updates off in Firefox.

        I oughta know.
        ScorpioBlue
      • RE: Microsoft to push latest version of IE to users starting in 2012

        If you are really worried about being spied upon, [b]lookup Intel AMT[/b].
        lehnerus2000
    • RE: Microsoft to push latest version of IE to users starting in 2012

      @deaf_e_kate <br>Most every browser does this, so this only brings it in line with those browsers. Besides that, this is a good thing. The newer versions are more secure, and even if you don't use IE for browsing, there may be programs that you use that use the rendering engine internally. So keeping IE updated might keep one of your favourite programs speedy and safe.
      Cubkyle
  • RE: Microsoft to push latest version of IE to users starting in 2012

    When IE9 was first forced on us, several things stopped working. Some of the things that stopped working weren't even internet things. The only thing forced upgrade will accomplish is an easy standard for the virus writers to work against. I bet the forced upgrades will show up in browser download counts (think popularity statistics).
    Net-Tech_z
  • RE: Microsoft to push latest version of IE to users starting in 2012

    What are XP computers going to get? IE8?! IE9 does not support XP.
    nimatra
    • RE: Microsoft to push latest version of IE to users starting in 2012

      @nimatra

      Yes Duh!
      bobiroc
    • What XP users will get

      Yes, IE 8 seems to be what they'll get. MJ
      Mary Jo Foley
    • RE: Microsoft to push latest version of IE to users starting in 2012

      @nimatra ...did you even read the entire article, or at least the update at the bottom of it? "Once issued, this update will install Internet Explorer 8 for users on XP SP3 that are still using IE7 and IE6;"
      SpiderTech
      • RE: Microsoft to push latest version of IE to users starting in 2012

        @SpiderTech
        The update came afterwards dude.
        nimatra
  • Pirated Copies

    Have you heard what is going to happen to those with pirated copies of Windows? In the consumer world, the #1 reason to not upgrade, is inability due not passing the genuine test. Any word on what happens to them? Allowing them to upgrade would make the biggest difference in getting rid of old browsers.
    MisinformedDNA
    • Misinformed

      @MisinformedDNA <br><br>There are no longer WGA validation requirements to download and install Internet Explorer. It's been this way for 3-4 years now -- ever since the validation debacle over IE7, which MS eventually came around on once it became clear it was contributing to an erosion of their browser market share.
      klumper
  • Hrmm

    I say that to do proper internetting... Umm you need 2 browsers? So far SeaMonkey and IE 9 on Windows 7 works for me. Though I do heart Seamonkey for compatibility (or vice versa), boy would I like to see a clean-up of the IE *compatibility* toggle. That blue little broken/torn page thing up in the URL is a good idea. I yearn for the day of only needing one browser!
    crazieglued
  • RE: Microsoft to push latest version of IE to users starting in 2012

    Windows are drafty. Pretty much the way it's been... period. If you're sweating about your security with windows/IE ... I'm surprised you haven't figured out M$.. not to mention any combination of the alphabet combinations of the agencies headquartered in Virginia and D(istricte de) C(riminales) have the ability to know what ur up to. Meh.
    Crashin Chris
  • RE: Microsoft to push latest version of IE to users starting in 2012

    Seeing as I'm running IE 9, as soon as 10 gold code is made available I'll be downloading that.
    Crashin Chris
  • IE6 is a giant turd and must be removed from the internet.

    This is the reason for the upgrade.
    sw_mail@...