Australia First With Microsoft's IE6 Nuking Program

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.

IE to Start Automatic Upgrades across Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7 [Exploring IE]


    As a web developer, let me say this: Hells yes!

    Last I checked IE9 is not available for XP! Only IE 8.

    Correct me of I'm wrong.

      Yes, as far as i can tell IE8 is max for XP. If they update XP to IE8, it is a very good start - anything is better than IE6/7.

        I found out what happens to XP today. My XP Mode VM tried to install IE8. At least I could cancel that install. Although me thinks I am about to be reminded every day that there are updates to be installed.

    The company I work for has a terrible IT department and even after numerous emails, we still have IE6. I hope this finally changes in January.

      IE6 is still used in a lot of places, I think the ADF still uses it or only just recently upgraded. There are a lot of programmes (or apps as everyone calls them today) that require IE6 so that might be a reason why it's still being used

        The ADF network uses IE7 & 8 but identifies itself to external sites as IE6 to resolve certain application issues, resulting in a false positive for anyone tracking the number of IE6 users

        Up until very recently the application that my company supplies to a major telco had to retain IE6 compatibility precisely because they were still using it in their internal SOEs.

    IE7 is the pain in my a***. My company has Win2000 and XP boxes with no internet access (but all our apps are Intranet based).
    I turned off the automatic updates in my XP Mode IE7 install to stop this update coming to me.

    Other alternatives for devs:
    Testing VMs:

    or IE9 blocker (not sure when IE10 is released):

    I'm all for keeping things up to date but I don't understand how they can legally force people to update their software? If someone consciously/purposefully chooses to stick with IE6, for whatever reason, then surely they can't be forced to update?

      It's not a forced update - They've actively agreed to allow "Automatic Updates" (either during OS installation, or later via Control Panel), and IE is now part of that list of updated software.

    Who uses IE anyway. And I like my old versions. I still haven't let go of Firefox 3.6 on my main computer after running 4 on my netbook and 8 on my computer I run at my parents for torrenting.

    Harr, can't update my 98 box, IE6 is as far as it'll go!

    "though I question the wisdom of any business still forcing its workers to suffer with IE6"

    You know what in some businesses there are more important things for IT to do than the get IE up to date. Especially when you need to redevelop or purchase new applications that run within IE6, the cost benefit is pretty hard to justify. Locking users down to a whitelist of sites, implementing strict lockdowns to prevent any damage to their local PC's, good firewalls between network segments, and you've removed some of the biggest reasons to upgrade.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now