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July 26, 2006

IE7 to arrive as Windows XP automatic update

Posted by David Hunter at 1:22 PM ET.

When Internet Explorer 7 ships next quarter, Windows XP users see it showing up as an optional Windows automatic update. Joris Evers at CNET:

IE 7 will be delivered in the fourth quarter as a “high priority” update via Automatic Updates in Windows XP, Gary Schare, Microsoft’s director of IE product management, said in an interview Tuesday. Automatic Updates is a Windows feature typically used for security updates, but Microsoft has also used it to push its antipiracy tool WGA Notifications.

“The justification, of course, is the significant security enhancements in IE 7,” Schare said. Microsoft recommends that all Windows users install the new browser when it ships, he added.

But unlike WGA, Microsoft is trying to make it crystal clear that IE7 is purely optional.

Although IE 7 will be pushed out over Automatic Updates, users will be able to choose whether they want to install it or not, Schare said. Automatic Updates will first notify users when IE 7 is ready to install and then show a welcome screen that presents key features and the choices to install, not install or postpone installation.

Additionally, Microsoft on Wednesday plans to make available a special tool to block automatic delivery of the new browser version, Schare said. The tool is meant for businesses users who might not be ready for an IE update, a lesson Microsoft learned when it pushed out Service Pack 2 for Windows XP via the update function.

The difference is that unlike the SP2 blocker, the Internet Explorer 7 Blocker Toolkit (FAQ here) will not expire.

Robert McLaws also has an interview with Schare that has screenshots and more details as well as related items of interest including:

RWM: Gotcha. So when are we gonna see the next public build of IE7?

GS: Well, we’re expecting one more public build between now and September. That will be a Release Candidate. It will be some minor cosmetic changes, but nothing major. Unless we have a showstopper that we want the public to test fixes for, that will be the last release before we RTM in Q4 2006.

RWM: That sounds good. So you guys don’t get to rest now… what’s happening with the next version of IE?

GS: Well, we’re already working on the next release. Our plan at this point is to roll a new release every 18 months, on a Major-Minor-Major schedule. So the release we’re working on next will be less focused on the underlying platform, and more focused on cosmetic changes.

Filed under Beta and CTP, IE7, Internet Explorer, Microsoft

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