Microsoft to start releasing automatic Internet Explorer updates

By on December 15, 2011, 6:24 PM

Microsoft announced today that it plans to start releasing automatic Internet Explorer updates in the near future. Starting next month, Windows XP, Vista and 7 users in Australia and Brazil will begin experiencing the silent rollouts. It's worth noting that this change will only affect those who opt into automatic Windows Updates, but we imagine that represents a significant portion of users considering how annoying the Windows Update notifications can be. There's no word on when this will be available to customers in other regions.

Although Microsoft is forcefully nudging users to update their browser, running the latest version of IE isn't completely mandatory. "While the benefits of upgrading are numerous, we recognize that some organizations and individuals may want to opt-out and set their own upgrade pace," Microsoft said. You can avoid the browser updates by installing the IE8 or IE9 Automatic Update Blocker toolkits. What's more, if you've previously declined the installation of IE8 or IE9, you don't have to worry about Microsoft pulling a ninja update.

Outdated versions of Internet Explorer have long been the bane of Web developers' existence, so having a majority of users running the latest version should make their life a little easier. Naturally, streamlining the update process will also improve security and help keep clueless users safer while browsing the Internet. Microsoft points to its recent Security Intelligence Report, which found that less than 1% of attacks in the first half of 2011 used zero-day exploits while 99% used familiar techniques such as unpatched vulnerabilities.




User Comments: 8

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mevans336 mevans336 said:

About damn time.

tw0rld tw0rld said:

How about forcing updates on ie6 and 7. This would save developers a lot of time.

treetops treetops said:

I wish all browser would auto update, I use FF and as far as I can tell auto updates are off by default.

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

@tw

I may not be 100% accurate, but most of those stuck with IE6 are in corporate sector, where things are driven by 'lower the cost' mantra, hence, hardware and software are rarely upgraded, unless they are forced to do it because of some sort of failure.

Cota Cota said:

There's an app that ninja stops Windows Update and Windows Firewall services in all the PC's i touch... Now Masochistic does this?

Guest said:

This would be more acceptable to me if IE were an optional install. All the other cited products are only installed if you want them.

The company I work for uses a WSUS server to release updates only as an admin approves them after testing (usually). I assume that will still prevent the office PC's from automatically updating. I know there are some conflicts with IE9 and some applications in our environment.

mattfrompa mattfrompa said:

Guest said:

This would be more acceptable to me if IE were an optional install. All the other cited products are only installed if you want them.

The company I work for uses a WSUS server to release updates only as an admin approves them after testing (usually). I assume that will still prevent the office PC's from automatically updating. I know there are some conflicts with IE9 and some applications in our environment.

So long as you don't manually check for updates through Microsoft/Windows Update and just ones your admin approves it will. But you can obviously still check for updates approved by WSUS.

RH00D RH00D said:

Ummm, this is not about automatically updating to newer browser versions (6 to 7, 7 to 8, 8 to 9). It's about automatic updates to your current version. Have you never seen updates to IE9, after you've already installed it? That's what they're talking about.

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