This should have happened long ago: Microsoft is going to begin automatically upgrading all users of Internet Explorer to the newest available version for their OS as part of its update process, rather than letting them foolishly stick with the insecure, bug-ridden nightmare that is IE6. Australia will be one of the first two countries in the world to see the update switch, with the process kicking off in January
Having updates switched on and automatically installed is sensible for any Windows user, but until now that process hasn't incorporated Internet Explorer itself -- users have had to choose to upgrade. Starting from January, consumers in Australia (and Brazil) who install Windows updates will automatically be upgraded to the newest available version. Enterprise customers will be able to choose to block upgrades (though I question the wisdom of any business still forcing its workers to suffer with IE6). Over time, the same update process will happen worldwide.
Internet Explorer isn't the browser of choice for Lifehacker readers; in the last month, 16 per cent used IE. Only 2 per cent of that group used IE6, but half of them used IE8, which isn't the newest version. Regardless, many of us act as informal tech support for friends and family, so being able to tell them they have no choice other than to upgrade might be easier than changing it without letting them know.