On Thursday, Microsoft announced that it would begin automatic updates to its Internet Explorer web browser for Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7 starting in 2012. But what do these plans mean for large businesses who use IE and their version of Windows across hundreds, if not thousands, of PCs? Microsoft attempted to answer that question in a new Springboard Series blog post.
According to Microsoft's Stephen L. Rose:
We understand that companies have business reasons to rely on a one specific version of the browser and they need support. The auto-upgrade mechanism doesn’t change the support lifecycle of the browser – an Internet Explorer version will continue to be supported until the underlying OS it ships on expires. This means that if you’ve taken a dependency on a particular version of Internet Explorer, the support for that version doesn’t end simply because of the introduction of the auto-upgrade mechanism.
Rose also states that the IE Blocker Tool will still be in place for businesses who don't want to immediately upgrade their version of the browser. He says:
The IE9 Blocker Toolkit helps ensure that IE9 is introduced to PCs at the right time. This way you can still test any updates before they are pushed out to your users. For non-managed environments, this will improve safety and security of the browser experience as well as performance and standards compliance. Lastly, if some users are accidentally upgraded, it’s possible to roll back to previous version of Internet Explorer as well.