One of the core issues that Microsoft is facing in the browser-war is that many users of the Internet Explorer browser are not updating the web browser. If you look at the browser's market share, you will notice that users are still working with Internet Explorer 6, 7 or 8 and not the latest version Internet Explorer 9 (IE8 for XP users). And while market shares differ depending on the way they are monitored, it is safe to say that a large part of Internet Explorer users are using outdated browser versions.
Other browsers offer automatic updates regularly to keep their user base on the latest version. And while that works well for some (Chrome), others browser developers are also experiencing a divided user base. The reason for not updating is usually different though. Most Firefox users know for instance that a new version is available (as it is displayed to them). They choose to stay with an earlier version of the browser because of design, compatibility or performance reasons.
A new announcement on the Windows Team Blog details that Microsoft is going to change the way the browser is updated from next year on.
Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7 users will receive automatic upgrades to update their version of Internet Explorer to the latest one. Depending on the operating system, they are either updated to Internet Explorer 8 (in the case of XP), or Internet Explorer 9 when they are running Vista or 7.
Australian and Brazilian users will receive the first batch of updates in January, followed by users from other countries soon thereafter.
It needs to be noted though that that customers and organizations still have options to avoid the automatic deployment of the new Internet Explorer version on their PC systems. Customers who have previously declined the installation of IE8 or IE9 will not be asked again to install it. Organizations who want to make sure that the browser is not updated automatically can install blocker kits to prevent this from happening.
It is likely that the majority of organizations will use the blockers to avoid the automatic installation of a newer version of Internet Explorer on their systems. Most end users on the other hand are likely to accept the browser update, which may improve security on their PC system significantly.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.