IE to automatically update from Windows XP upwards

In a posting over at the Exploring IE web blog, Ryan Gavin the General Manager for Internet Explorer Business and Marketing, has stated that from January onward, Microsoft will automatically update older Internet Explorer versions on Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7.

The change will first take place for Australia and Brazil, and roll out to the rest of the world in a "measured approach" for those customers that have Automatic Updates enabled.

Microsoft is keen to move people off older versions of Internet Explorer, and Gavin had this to say on the new approach:

We want to make updating to the best protection possible as fast and simple as we can for Windows customers. IE is how millions of Windows customers connect to the Web, so keeping that part of Windows updated at all times is critical to keeping them safe online. With automatic updates enabled through Windows Update, customers can receive IE9 and future versions of Internet Explorer seamlessly without any “update fatigue” issues.

Gavin also mentions that not all organizations and individuals may want to be automatically updated, which is more than often the case for organizations; and links to tool kits for Internet Explorer 8 or IE9 that prevents it, this allows Automatic Updates to remain enabled but excludes IE from being updated.

Anyone on anything older than IE8, and has disabled Automatic Updates won't be upgraded either, there's no tool kit needed for that.

Thanks to Neowin member dekoy for the tip.

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Joey S said,
Microsoft must be struggling to get people to download the latest versions of IE of their own volition.

Maybe that's why the latest version of IE (9) is the most used version on Windows 7, troll.

Brilliant news!
This means the majority of everyday users will get upgraded and corporations using ie6 for apps shouldn't be affected.

As a web developer, this is a step in the right direction as most of my work is not aimed at old corporate internal systems.

Next step IE9 for XP

I don't get it. I thought Windows XP was not supported in IE9 onwards, leaving many users stuck with that IE8 crap forever. Unless that's changing, IE will continue to be just as much of a nightmare for web developers as it is now.

xpclient said,
As long as they don't force a new IE with an OS service pack, this is good move.

Since when has a Service Pack updated a version of IE, I know that prior to XP they did but from XP onwards they didn't.

neo158 said,

Since when has a Service Pack updated a version of IE to the next major version, I know that prior to XP they did but from XP onwards they didn't.

Never has a service pack updated a version of IE. Not even before XP.

xpclient said,

Never has a service pack updated a version of IE. Not even before XP.

OSR2 update introduced IE4 on Windows 95 and the desktop update, that was a service pack

Make future iterations of IE, probably up to 10 or 11, available for XP, then this is a great deal. Until then, it's good, but not great. Still, it's progress.

Klayzen said,
Make future iterations of IE, probably up to 10 or 11, available for XP, then this is a great deal. Until then, it's good, but not great. Still, it's progress.

Not going to happen, IE9 is Vista and 7 only so why would the invest time and money supporting XP with IE10 and 11?

neo158 said,

[...]why would the invest time and money supporting XP with IE10 and 11?

1. Not doing doing so is wasting astronomically more time and money for countless web developers all over the world
2. Not doing doing so leads to another generation of developers cursing Microsoft for ruining their life because of the tragically incompetent mismanagement of Internet Explorer.

kayan said,

1. Not doing doing so is wasting astronomically more time and money for countless web developers all over the world
2. Not doing doing so leads to another generation of developers cursing Microsoft for ruining their life because of the tragically incompetent mismanagement of Internet Explorer.

It would cost Microsoft far more time and money to support an outdated OS with a modern browser. That's without even mentioning the fact that extended support for XP ends in 2014 anyway.

neo158 said,

It would cost Microsoft far more time and money to support an outdated OS with a modern browser. That's without even mentioning the fact that extended support for XP ends in 2014 anyway.

That almost makes sense if you care about Microsoft's time and money more then everyone else who uses the Web combined. But I still don't get how this helps Microsoft save time and money long term if all the best and brightest programmers in the world hate them. That sounds like a serious problem for software company.

kayan said,

That almost makes sense if you care about Microsoft's time and money more then everyone else who uses the Web combined. But I still don't get how this helps Microsoft save time and money long term if all the best and brightest programmers in the world hate them. That sounds like a serious problem for software company.

It costs them time and money because they have to dedicate a team to writing the software in the first place. If you're that worried about compatibility the use XHTML 1.0 instead.

You would also have to look at the OS limitations as well, IE9 wasn't released for XP because they weren't able to implement hardware acceleration and Microsoft wanted to give a consistant experience to everyone using it.

About bloody time! I am guessing that some organisations will block this but for home users (Who dont really need to stick to IE6!) means brighter web! End of the web developer misery.
And I am sure that what they meant is that IE will be automatically updated to the highest supported version on that platform. - like Windows XP will get IE8, Vista and & 7 will get IE9.
This also means we can now safely code for XHTML 1.0 as a minimum and not worry about quirks and crap.

I have a problem with this, as an IT Manager I have any systems that don't work on IE9 yet much less IE10...

IE8 compatibility Mode doesn't work 100% in alot of places.

Some of these that I've had not work: Security Camera systems, event ticket purchasing/printing for symphony... I worry an autoupdate might work well for some but there are alot of Banks, Bill Payment Systems and so many others that don't update when Microsoft releases I'm not sure how this wont case massive problems. Some of the Microsoft websites themselfs don't load on my WM7.5 Phone with IE9.

Jbenisek said,
I have a problem with this, as an IT Manager I have any systems that don't work on IE9 yet much less IE10...

IE8 compatibility Mode doesn't work 100% in alot of places.

Some of these that I've had not work: Security Camera systems, event ticket purchasing/printing for symphony... I worry an autoupdate might work well for some but there are alot of Banks, Bill Payment Systems and so many others that don't update when Microsoft releases I'm not sure how this wont case massive problems. Some of the Microsoft websites themselfs don't load on my WM7.5 Phone with IE9.


I am sorry but IE releases are like 1.5 - 2 years between them. If in two years you didn't manage to test, update and upgrade your systems to support at least IE8 then I am guessing your systems are out of date and or you purchased the wrong stuff.
End of the day I am sure there will be a policy to prevent Internet Explorer from autoupdating, but keep in mind that this is the kind of mentality that prevents public sites from growing since they have to support the so out dated and slow for todays technologies IE6 and IE7

I have said this before my mum uses den den den farmtown via facebook I tryied to get her to upgrade she wont claiming the game written in flash runs slower damin slashkey... glad the toolkit is there.

Great news, but still a shame we won't see anything in the way of IE9 being rolled out for XP clients, going to have to support IE8 now for as long as XP is still around (boo!)

This would be a workable strategy if Microsoft for years hadn't been taking us in their own direction, with their approach to “web standards”.
The challenge of getting newer versions of IE in now, lies not with the home user but with the corporate world; the majority of which are still stuck with a stagnant portfolio of apps that target an IE6 baseline. Sure, there's compatibility mode but it's a double edged sword anyway, for where it does work, it allows corporations to retain their legacy IE6/7/8 dependent baggage almost indefinitely. This fact has far wider repercussions for many modern corporate IT strategies, particularly those attempting to embrace consumerization.

if microsoft had focused on webstandards to begin with corporations could have moved to later versions without fear. But seriously, it's time to cut the cord on crappy programs. Microsoft needs to take a bold step.

Drop 32bit Windows and all 32 bit apps starting with Windows 8. There's no reason to maintain a 32bit version of IE except to maintain compatibity with ancient plugins and tool bars.

Kill it.

I was hoping this was finally the end of IE6 but no ... you can still opt out
Corporations are never going to upgrade if you keep letting them have IE6. They need to set an end date and say if you are not upgraded by then too bad. The only workaround being removing the pc from the internet.

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