Microsoft To Begin Automatic IE Upgrades For Usersby Andrew Cunningham on December 15, 2011 5:30 PM EST
Microsoft announced today that for the first time it would automatically begin updating Windows users to the most recent browser version supported by their OS (IE8 for XP, IE 9 for everyone else) - in the past, IE has been offered as an optional or recommended update, and users have been given the opportunity to opt out before installing. Users who have opted not to upgrade in the past, users who have installed one of the IE Automatic Update Blockers, users who have Automatic Updates disabled, and enterprise customers who grab their updates from a local WSUS server will not be upgraded automatically. These automatic updates will begin rolling out to Australian and Brazilian Windows users in January, with other territories to follow.
This is the latest step in Microsoft's campaign to reduce IE6 usage - the Internet Explorer 6 Countdown site aims to reduce worldwide usage of IE6 to 1% of the browser market, down from its current 8.3%. The release and success of Windows 7 as well as the increased popularity of third-party browsers like Firefox and Chrome have done a lot to eradicate the ten-year-old Internet Explorer 6, but in spite of that it still retains a fair amount of market share, especially in Asian countries like China, India, South Korea, and Taiwan.
To encourage upgrades, Microsoft has included a few lines of code you can add to websites you administer to prompt users of IE6 to upgrade. Enterprise users, on the other hand, have been offered mostly training courses and case studies showing the benefits of switching.
Google, Facebook, Amazon and many others have already dropped official IE6 support from many of their products and web sites.