IE10 for Windows 7 update blocker released; sign of official IE10 launch?

In November, Microsoft released a "preview version" of Internet Explorer 10 for Windows 7 to the general public, but there's been no official word from Microsoft on when the final version of IE10 for Windows 7 would be released. Late Wednesday, Microsoft launched a new program that could be a clue that the company is very close to an official IE10 Windows 7 release.

The official IE blog has announced Microsoft now has the IE10 Automatic Update Blocker Toolkit available to download. The program has been set up so that businesses can block downloads of IE10, if Windows 7 is set up to use Automatic Update and if they feel they are not yet ready to upgrade to older versions of Internet Explorer on their network. The toolkit does not block manual downloads of IE10.

Microsoft states:

This Toolkit has no expiration date and is configured either by running the registry file on the client machine or by deploying Group Policy in domain joined environments. The toolkit also provides an unblock procedure that allows IE10 to be installed through Automatic Update.

People who install the already released IE10 Release Preview for Windows 7 will not have automatic downloads for the browser blocked by the toolkit. The fact that Microsoft has released this toolkit is a likely sign that the launch of the final, non-preview, version of IE10 for Windows 7 is close at hand.

Source: Internet Explorer blog | Image via Microsoft

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IE10 Preview on Windows 7 broke something in the OS. After installing it, Firefox became unusable due to severe graphic tearing. Fonts were smeared across the screen. Only way to resolve it was to disable Direct2D support in Firefox, making it much slower as a result. Even uninstall the IE10 Preview did not return the system to the way it was. After reinstalling Win7 on my computer, I am NOT going to install IE10. Ever. I only use IE as a backup anyway.

"The program has been set up so that businesses can block downloads of IE10, if Windows 7 is set up to use Automatic Update, if they feel they are not yet ready to upgrade to older versions of Internet Explorer on their network."

Someone needs to proofread. The above sentence doesn't make sense at all. There is probably an "and" missing after the first "if," and the last "if" clause is written backwards (upgrade to older versions… uh… what?).

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Odom said,
There is a report button that you can use on every article to report any issues you believe might be there.
Just hover over the name of the article writer and select Report a problem.

Ah. I see. Thanks.

I wonder whether there were really Windows 7 specific issues or Microsoft intentionally delayed this to boost 8's sales...

That's actually a really interesting thought! ...but if that's true Microsoft are taking a risk - other browser vendors have been making big steps in their respective browser development of late... and so the longer IE10 is delayed, the further Microsoft falls behind it's competitors - in terms of browsers!

Breach said,
I wonder whether there were really Windows 7 specific issues or Microsoft intentionally delayed this to boost 8's sales...
IE10 relies on Windows 8 technologies not found in Win7.

Um...wait a minute. IE9 released in February of last year, but the update blocker was released in *March?*" Isn't the update blocker supposed to be released *before* the browser comes out??

The blocker has traditionally been released before the browser was made available on windows update - which was later than the RTM date.

Well, look at the IE8 release dates: Blocker 1/5/2009, then browser on 3/19/2009. IE9 seemed to have flipped that -- browser on 2/10/2011, *then* the blocker on 3/14/2011. I guess what confuses me is why IE8's update blocker came out before the browser itself...but then with IE9, the browser came out first, then the update blocker.

ClassicTrekker said,
Well, look at the IE8 release dates: Blocker 1/5/2009, then browser on 3/19/2009. IE9 seemed to have flipped that -- browser on 2/10/2011, *then* the blocker on 3/14/2011. I guess what confuses me is why IE8's update blocker came out before the browser itself...but then with IE9, the browser came out first, then the update blocker.

IE9 was not a forced update for a long period. It was optional at first.

torrentthief said,
hope someone looks up when this launched compared to IE9 and IE8 release dates to see when IE10 might be released for win7.

IE8 blocker
1/5/2009

IE8
3/19/2009

IE9 blocker
3/14/2011

IE9
2/10/2011

Erm, so with IE9 the blocker was released after the final version? Still by those dates I would assume it'll be within a month or two.

I'm not so sure - if they've only just released the IE10 blocker, they've gotta give IT departments, etc time to actually deploy this before pushing IE10 through Windows Update. Don't get me wrong, IE10 can't come soon enough... but sadly, when it comes to IE, Microsoft panda more to larger companies, than to regular "home" users, so they're not going to push IE10 until the big companies are happy that they've implemented their IE10 block!

How naive of you. Updating thousands of computers in your organisation overnight without any form of testing with business applications would just be foolhardy. This tool ensures IT departments can prevent inadvertent problems in their organisations before things have been properly tested.

I understand but why cant they test before release so they know or fix problems that may arise. In that case you can argue why bother upgrading an OS or any program just in case ?

If you could direct me to the download link for the final version, and not an unstable "preview" version, I'd be happy to begin testing.

Nobody is saying we won't be upgrading, I'm just saying it would be extremely stupid to just allow your thousands of workstations to auto update to IE10 on release day without testing the final product with all your web based business systems.

DrakeN2k said,
I understand but why cant they test before release so they know or fix problems that may arise. In that case you can argue why bother upgrading an OS or any program just in case ?

Because IT departments don't run the business. These things require resources that are already assigned to other tasks. You can't just 'budget' for the process in advance because nobody can anticipate exactly when the need will arise.

Agility goes down as the size and complexity of a business goes up. People whinge and stamp their feet and point fingers at the silly executives that aren't keeping up with the times, but you know what? The version of a piece of software isn't always going to rank very high in a list of priorities. Not every company works in technology and computers aren't always their primary work space, but they still have computers.

DrakeN2k said,
I understand but why cant they test before release so they know or fix problems that may arise. In that case you can argue why bother upgrading an OS or any program just in case ?

That is exactly how it works. In the case of IE10, it's not just the IT department, companies have literally hundreds of different software products running that usually requires interaction with the third-party vendor for compatibility testing and implementation. These third-party vendors are usually in no hurry to do this testing/implementation. So you either have to go out and try to find a comparable product that is compatible, or wait.

This is the same reason why most big businesses take 1 - 1 1/2 years to migrate between windows versions (sometimes more as most big businesses skipped Windows Vista and haven't completed their migrations to Windows 7).