Microsoft to automatically upgrade IE, but there is a catch

Microsoft announced that they will start in January to automatically upgrade IE on all supported operating systems. The title of the post in the Microsoft’s Windows Team Blog is quite clear, IE to Start Automatic Upgrades across Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7, but there are a couple of things which are not obvious to all readers.

You see there the operating systems which will receive the automatic update: XP, Vista and Windows 7.

But, there is one catch: the latest version of IE is IE v9, released in March 2011. The interesting thing is that IE9 doesn’t support Windows XP.

So, what happens to Windows XP?

Well, the only possible upgrade for the IE running on Windows XP is to get the IE8. Or … as I am sure Microsoft hopes, to upgrade XP to Windows 7 and get the IE9. Here is a comparison between the various versions of IE (versions 7,8 and 9).

What if you don’t want to or can’t upgrade IE to version 8/9?

Australians and Brazil will be the first to see the automatic upgrades in action, and users who have already said no to IE 8 or 9 will remain at their current version. Microsoft released Automatic Update Blocker toolkits which prevent automatic upgrades of IE for Windows customers who do not want them. The tools are for created for Internet Explorer 8 (to be used on WinXP) and Internet Explorer 9 (to be used on Vista and Windows 7).

Similarly, customers who have declined previous installations of IE8 or IE9 through Windows Update will not be automatically updated.

As a conclusion, we applaud this initiative of Microsoft which is meant to make the computers safer by  using the latest IE. We don’t care about politics and anti trust  If you are an Internet Explorer user we strongly advise to upgrade to latest version. As of today, this is IE9.

However, if you have a problem with the idea of using “yet another Microsoft product”, there are other free options: Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Safari and so on. Some say that they are better than IE9, I personally think that it is a matter of taste. The choice is yours.

Sorin Mustaca

Data Security Expert