Microsoft makes your job easier

Big news today. Microsoft is to make our lives just that little bit easier by auto-updating Internet Explorer.

Twitter is abuzz with excitement over this news because it will mean a sharp decline in the use of older versions of the browser. However, I would advise against getting too excited. Things aren’t going to change overnight.

There are several caveats to the announcement:

  • The auto-update is going to be rolled out gradually across the world starting with Australia and Brazil.
  • Those who don’t have auto-update enabled will not receive the newer browser (does anybody know if this is enabled by default or not? Let us know in the comments.)
  • XP users will only be upgraded to IE8, which I have a feeling long term will make IE8 the new IE6.
  • Corporations will be able to control when the update happens or even prevent it entirely.

I think the biggest problem here is that Internet Explorer is so deeply integrated with the operating system. Even if users want to update their browser, some will be prevented by doing so by the operating system they are running. This will be particularly problematic within corporations who are historically slow to update their OS.

Nevertheless this is a positive step forward and Microsoft are to be congratulated.

  • What I don’t understand is why they can’t just replace the rendering engine while maintaining the rest of the browser UX and support for ActiveX etc where needed. I mean, the rendering engine always has a separate code name so why can’t they just update that one part?

  • You can choose whether you want to have auto-update or not. But the auto-update function is recommended by Microsoft.

  • Nailed it, IE 8 will be the next IE 6 and those new to the industry will curse the day IE 6 was released. Personally, I am so happy to be beyond the Netscape Navigator and IE on Mac days and able to actually use the majority of the CSS 2.1 specification that I could cry. [sniff sniff] :)

  • The real issue is

    • Heh, didn’t realise I was signed into our corporate account there :) yes, we have major issues with IE6.

  • bgrggfe

    Beijing policy makers say they’re eager to encourage greater domestic consumption. Chinese shoppers are famously luxury-happy, flying to Hong Kong and further afield in droves to stock up on Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Chanel and more. All of which means the stage is set for the next great innovation to hit China: 
    Louis Vuitton Outlet malls.