IE7 for Windows XP Moves to Optional Updates

Some of our members are reporting that earlier today Microsoft removed Internet Explorer 7 from Critical updates (or forced Automatic Updates if set to Automatic) to Optional updates, after a brief disappearance all together from the Windows Update site.

Initial reports indicate that Windows Server 2003 still gets IE7 as a critical update, most likely because of the in-built "hardening" that forces Internet Explorer to confirm web browsing outside of the local intranet. Hardening is set by default on Windows Server 2003, a significant security update over IE6.

However, the forced update to IE7 on Windows XP systems had Microsoft scrambling to issue a patch that blocks IE7 from being shown on Windows Update. Generally speaking IT system managers roll out a browser update only after extensive testing, not when Microsoft makes it available. I'd say this move is one where Microsoft really is listening to the customer, and has been widely appreciated in our board discussion.

Link: Microsoft Windows Update | Neowin Discussion

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Why is this such a huge deal?

If your network is setup properly, your users can't run Windows Update or install software and if you want it installed you can configure your server to deliver it to your workstations.

Good! I was getting fed up with it saying "Oh you must update to the mighty, great, amazing IE7" - When I already had it installed!!

IE7 has been an optional update on Microsoft Update for weeks!
And if you use Outlook Express or Outlook and print your emails, be very wary of upgrading - there is a bug which mucks up printing of HTML emails from Outlook which MS are working on (apparently). I had to downgrade back to IE6 becaue of it. I'll wait till that comes out before upgrading properly...

I work in a computer repair shop and I constantly get people asking me NOT to up date to IE7 because of the hoards of internet retards that say its the devil. I myself have been running it sinse Beta 1 and have had ZERO issues.

I guess this is more of a rant than anything. People bring their computer to us to fix it but they beleave their "tech friend" more than us.

i would agree (although i dont work in a shop like u do)... cause even though i dont really care much for IE7 myself i still think it's a good idea to update to it even though i liked IE6's interface MUCH better than IE7's... but i guess even if i did not update i dont really have to worry since im running firefox 2 anyways... and i doubt ill be switching to something else anytime soon.

Chalk me and my MCSE and CCNA self up to being an internet retard... I guess those apps my company paid millions for that don't work in IE7 should be ignored.

It's not on Windows Updates at all for me.
Just built a new PC and done ALL the updates.

No IE7 :(

I'm in the UK if that makes any difference.

travelcard said,
Yes, I can still download it manually, just wondering why it's not on WU?

Might be that only the US region has been updated.

um, no. You do not realize how many applications run through IE that can and do break in IE7. Our entire plant monitoring system has an interface that runs only in IE6 and 5. It takes a while to update and test a $1.5 million dollar system.

There are quite a few web applications that break with IE7, so roll out can be problematic (it has proved so at out uni). Even if patches are released, they're not always quickly applied and this means people have serious problems using the applications in IE7. I think MS have made a wise choice in making it optional.