Microsoft will automatically upgrade Windows customers to the latest version of Internet Explorer in an effort to ensure more people are protected and can access new web technologies, such as HTML5.
According to Microsoft, the updates will go out to users with Windows XP, Vista and 7 who have automatic updating activated through Windows Update.
Microsoft said it is doing this to ensure users are running the latest browser version to access the most up-to-date web technology. The company is also doing this to protect users from malicious software which often targets out-of-date software.
“We want to make updating to the best protection possible as fast and simple as we can for Windows customers,” wrote Ryan Gavin, senior director of Internet Explorer.
“IE is how millions of Windows customers connect to the web, so keeping that part of Windows updated at all times is critical to keeping them safe online. With automatic updates enabled through Windows Update, customers can receive IE9 and future versions of Internet Explorer seamlessly without any ‘update fatigue’ issues,” he said.
The announcement will come as good news to web developers who often struggle to code websites which support older versions of IE.
“Developers and online businesses can rely on better browsers to deliver richer and more capable web experiences. We built IE9 with a focus on modern web standards and interoperability so that developers could spend less time coding for specific browsers and spend more time building the next big thing on the web,” he said.
The move is another step Microsoft is taking to try and boost Internet Explorer’s position. While all of its versions put together make IE the most-used web browser, Chrome and Firefox are catching up. Both Google and Mozilla have introduced seamless and automatic updates to their browsers.
Automatic updating will start in January for users in Australia and Brazil and will roll out elsewhere afterwards. Gavin acknowledged that some users may want to opt out of automatic updates, pointing out there is an Automatic Update Blocker toolkit available for the browser.