Saturday, December 17, 2011

Microsoft to 'Silently' Kill Off IE6

The number of browser we have to support may be small but the versions within these can be a pain as new versions of some browsers appear to be arriving on a constant conveyer belt. Most users are cautious about upgrading until the release is bedded down and stable, but buyers of new PCs don’t have much choice.

Microsoft claim that their research shows that many cyber criminals target old or outdated software when they tried to trick people into installing fake updates. Therefore, in order to help beat scammers catching people out with fake updates, Microsoft will start next year to ‘silently’ update Internet Explorer (IE) users automatically without their users knowledge to the latest version of the browser. Microsoft said that those who did not want their browser updated could opt out or uninstall the software.

The programme will initially affect IE users with automatic updates turned on and running Windows XP, Vista and 7, and will first be rolled out in Australia and Brazil. Those using Windows XP will be upgraded to IE8, while those on Vista and 7 will be upgraded up to IE9.

Globally, Internet Explorer is still the most popular browser, with more than 52% of the market followed by Mozilla's Firefox and Google's Chrome. Interestingly though some 8.3% of IE users are still wedded to the 10 year old IE6 which, to the relief of many developers, is expected to die with this new initiative.

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