Microsoft unveiled plans to join rival browser makers in implementing silent automatic upgrades for Internet Explorer on Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7.
In what has been a long time coming, the software giant will move towards a system that doesn’t rely on using Windows Update to upgrade the web browser and, presumably, will be rather more pushy about it than Microsoft’s gentle suggestions to upgrade from older versions of IE.
The move is part of a general strategy to rid of the world of the dangerously archaic IE6, currently still 8.3 per cent of the market according to Microsoft’s IE6 Countdown page. On that page Microsoft forcefully says "it’s time to say goodbye," to the crusty old browser.
"The Web overall is better – and safer – when more people run the most up-to-date browser," said Microsoft rather obviously.
The new system will see all modern Microsoft OS versions updated to IE9 while the aging Windows XP will only be offer the move to IE8.
Lest anyone think Microsoft is still in a hurry to implement the same upgrade procedure found in Chrome, Opera and Firefox, the new update system is only being launched in Brazil and Australia in the month of January.
If the universe doesn’t implode then we expect it will be rolled out elsewhere.
Meanwhile, Google’s Chrome 15 overtaken IE8 to become the world’s most popular browser. At least if you don’t consider all the IE versions to be one browser. Americans, however, still prefer IE8.