The Internet Explorer development team blog is reporting that they are going to distribute Internet Explorer 7 as a high priority update via Automatic Updates. The release date has been set as “the fourth quarter of this year”!
While this might, at first glance, seem a little heavy handed Microsoft have some safeguards built into the system.
- Automatic Update (AU) will notify users when IE7 is ready to install and show a welcome screen that presents choices to â€œInstallâ€?, â€œDonâ€™t Installâ€?, or â€œAsk Me Laterâ€?. Choosing the Ask Me Later option means you won’t be prompted to install it by AU subsequently
- Also, if you do install it, you can uninstall it by using Add/Remove Programs in the Control Panel. This will roll you back to IE6
- Users who have AU turned off will not be notified and
- it will also be available for download via the Windows Update or Microsoft Update sites
- installing will not change your choice of default browser – this is important because for people who don’t want to use Internet Explorer, but who run Windows based machines, IE6 still has many security issues which are addressed by IE7. Installing IE7 should address these issues but not force the user to use IE7.
For IE7 to work on your PC you will need to be authenticated using the controversial Windows Genuine Advantage tool.
This all seems straightforward enough until you consider someone like my father. My father is in his 70s. He browses the ‘Net daily. If presented with the option to install a security update, he has been trained to click accept (without trying to comprehend what specifically it is patching). If he accepts this and suddenly his browser experience changes (sites that used to render properly no longer work) he’ll be completely confused. He wouldn’t know how to uninstall.
I can see lots of support lines lighting up in “the fourth quarter of this year”!