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An End to Aging IE Installs

By Aaron Gustafson | December 15th, 2011 | Filed in Browsers, Microsoft

Do you hear that sound? That’s right Johnny, it’s the sound of millions of web professionals breathing a collective sigh of relief.

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Today is a momentous day.

After spending years of griping about IE6’s staying power and lamenting Microsoft’s earlier decision to advocate against upgrading to IE7 (a decision they didn’t stick with, thankfully), Microsoft has turned a new leaf today, announcing that they will be pushing updates to IE to anyone who takes part in their Windows Update service.

What does this mean? Well, it means that grandma will be upgraded to IE8 if she’s still on Windows XP or IE9 if she’s on Vista or Windows 7.

Corporations (and individuals) still have the ability to opt-out of these updates, but this move should put an end to upgrades that haven’t happened purely because users didn’t know how to upgrade to a new version of IE. As Microsoft’s own Peter Laudati so eloquently put it, “Upgrade Your Parents Browser Weekend” is now officially obsolete.

Your Replies

#1 On December 16th, 2011 10:59 am Will Boucher replied:

Pop the top on that champagne cork, now we just need to get it off the desktop of the information challenged.

#2 On December 16th, 2011 7:19 pm Patrick H. Lauke replied:

So up to now grandma has been getting IE as a suggested upgrade from Windows Update, but now it’ll be preselected by default, right? That’s all the change?

I thought the bigger problem were corporations that actively stopped people from upgrading (because their internal systems / intranets / etc didn’t work in modern browsers)?

I think it’s too little, too late…but let’s see, maybe I’m wrong and it’ll mop up a few stragglers…

#3 On December 16th, 2011 11:35 pm Gérard Talbot replied:

To have IE6 users upgrade to IE8 makes sense.

To have IE7 users upgrade to IE8 makes sense.

But to force IE9 on Windows 7 users may be pushing it too far. There are people who do not like IE9 [1], [2] and their opinions are not far fetched.

For your information[3], 8 full months after the release-to-markets of IE9, 3 Windows 7 users out of 4 do not use IE9. If IE9 was so good, you would see a high percentage of Windows 7 users using IE9.

I hope such forcing upgrade does not imply promoting IE as the registered default browser on a system.

[1]: Features removed and degraded in Windows Internet Explorer 9

[2]: The evil Explorer 9 is released!

[3]: References on browser usage stats

regards, Gérard

#4 On December 21st, 2011 2:33 am Frankie replied:

IE Problems are knows since the internet exists. Of course it’s a problem, because a lot of peaple still have an old pc with IE 6 or IE 7 installed.

#5 On December 22nd, 2011 7:36 pm Marlenis replied:

Yo quisiera que esta base balla automatica mente y poder bien mis videos

#6 On December 25th, 2011 7:19 am Steve replied:

Surely this is good news for web developers, if they (microsoft) want to compete with modern browser such firefox, opera and chrome, they should do so immediately.

#7 On December 26th, 2011 12:07 pm Jenny replied:

I think that this is a good move from Microsoft. So far the Updates have been pretty useful for us. Good to see that they are done automatically now.

#8 On December 28th, 2011 10:31 am Dave replied:

I’m interested in what happens in Australia especially, because it’s IE6 and IE7 usage is comparable to the UK and the US. However, how many of these machines actually take part in Windows Update? I don’t think we can say for sure. So I’m not going to open the Champaign just yet. :o)

#9 On December 30th, 2011 3:36 pm Rabattdjungeln replied:

Thank GOD! What a nice christmas gift that was for a poor web developer! Just as I’m really getting into front end development thanks to CSS3 and HTML5, along comes M$ to tell me I can finally use all these nice new features.

#10 On January 5th, 2012 12:01 pm Grant Unwin replied:

IE6 has been the vain of my life. I’m a web developer and am constantly asked to make sites work for IE6. Transparent PNG don’t display properly. Javascript behaves differently, and CSS shows up totally different to any other browser, even IE7.

I think it’s a case of microsoft trying to set their own web-standard and not following W3C in the was the other major browser do.

#11 On January 8th, 2012 10:41 am Social Insect replied:

It’a realy good news.
I’m making a new website now and was amazed how askew it looks in IE6.

#12 On January 10th, 2012 2:13 am Hasnain replied:

How To get HTML codes for my website..?

#13 On January 10th, 2012 1:42 pm Jens replied:

Finally! Look at and celebrate :)
And like always after such a decision we will ask ourself: Why not sooner?

#14 On January 19th, 2012 8:28 pm Trever replied:

Hey Aaron, this is something to celebrate, no question. Save, I’ve got to step in and ask politely, why use Grandma‽ If your Grandma is what you hand in mind, then by all means, use Grandma Gustafson.

#15 On January 20th, 2012 3:21 am Chris replied:

Do I hear correctly? Is that the sound of millions of IE6 voices suddenly cried out in terror and were silenced?

Just in case, don’t forget rule number 2: double tap. Microsoft, maybe you need to put one more “bullet” into IE6, just to keep it under ground.

#16 On January 22nd, 2012 7:41 am karatren replied:

hmmm . We waiting IE10

#17 On February 21st, 2012 11:27 am DJ Hochzeit Mannheim replied:

Windows 8 is comming and there is no more the IE in it. Somebody from our IT Service Company said to me last week. Thats why we dont have to talk about a new version of IE.

#18 On March 6th, 2012 2:27 pm Scented Candles Haith replied:

Thank god! Auto update will save me pulling my hair out at the visit to the folks weekend and their aging PC’s!

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