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Automatic Upgrades to Internet Explorer 8 Coming Up For All IE7 And IE6 Users
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Microsoft is gearing up to start serving automatic upgrades to Internet Explorer 8. Fact is that the Redmond company has already debuted the Automatic distribution of its latest iteration of IE. In this regard, the software giant confirmed that IE8 RTW (release to web) was already offered via Automatic Update/Windows Update to all users running pre-release versions of IE8. Next in line are users of Internet Explorer 6 and Internet Explorer 7, which should start seeing IE8 served through WU/AU by the end of this month.

“We released IE8 via Automatic Update to users still running pre-release versions of IE8 (Beta 2 or Release Candidate 1). The goal was to make sure users who chose to install IE8 have the latest up-to-date version,” revealed Eric Hebenstreit, IE lead program manager. It is important to note that automatic upgrades to IE8 are not synonymous with automatic installations of the browser.

Microsoft underlined that end users would need to opt-in in order to install Internet Explorer 8. In this regard, the gold version of IE8, offered through WU/AU, will come with three options: Ask later, Install and Don’t Install, allowing users to postpone the installation, give it green light, or simply block it through the Redmond company’s update infrastructure.

“Starting on or about the third week of April, users still running IE6 or IE7 on Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003, or Windows Server 2008 will get a notification through Automatic Update about IE8. This rollout will start with a narrow audience and expand over time to the entire user base. On Windows XP and Server 2003, the update will be High-Priority. On Windows Vista and Server 2008 it will be Important,” Hebenstreit added.

Blocking IE8 from AU, still allows end users to manually download and deploy the browser from the Microsoft Download Center, or access it as an optional update from WU. “Organizations that use Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) and Systems Management Server (SMS) can deploy IE8 in the same manner as they would deploy any other update. We will release IE8 to WSUS in July 2009; it will be classified as an Update Rollup and must be approved to install on groups of clients within the organization,” Hebenstreit said.

Internet Explorer 8 (IE8) RTW is available for download here (for 32-bit and 64-bit flavors of Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008).

For Vista/2008 x86
For Vista/2008 x64
For Windows XP x86
For Windows XP/2003 x64
For Windows 2003 x86

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