Microsoft will begin offering Internet Explorer 9 via Windows Update, likely in order to rapidly increase adoption of its new browser.
Microsoft plans to start pushing
Internet Explorer 9 to Windows 7 and Windows Vista users via Windows Update, in
a likely bid to rapidly increase adoption of its new browser.
"On April 18, a little over a month
after the final release of IE9, we will be ready to start the rollout of IE9 to
our Windows 7 and Windows Vista customers," Roger Capriotti, director for
Internet Explorer Marketing, wrote in an April 14 posting on The Windows Blog
. "Similar to our approach for
IE8, we will use Windows Update to deliver IE9 to users. IE9 will not install
automatically on machines. Users will have to agree to install IE 9."
Microsoft also plans to make IE9
available to business customers via Windows Server Update Services (WSUS)
starting in June. Those customers can also use the IE 9 Blocker Toolkit to
"Prevent IE9 rollout via Windows Update until they are ready," Capriotti added.
With IE9, Microsoft worked to strip the
browser down to its essentials: The search and address bars have been
consolidated into one, while the translucent frame places Web content
front-and-center. The company claims it designed IE9 to leverage both HTML5 and
the PC's own processing power to deliver rich content faster. For those using
Windows 7, IE9 offers the ability to drag and pin Website tabs to the taskbar,
and "Aero Snap" windows to the left or right of the screen (useful for when you
want to organize multiple Websites, in the former case, or, in the latter one,
when you want to view two Web pages side-by-side).
Even as Microsoft pushes IE9 in the
face of aggressive competition from Firefox, Google Chrome and other browsers,
Redmond executives have been adamant about the supposed need to kill IE6, even
starting a Website "The Internet Explorer 6 Countdown,"
claims, "Friends don't let friends use Internet Explorer 6 ... and neither should
Although IE6 has a tiny market share in
countries such as the United States (2.9 percent) and Canada (3.3 percent), the
browser continues to hold substantial market share in much of Asia, including
China (34.5 percent), South Korea (24.8 percent) and Japan (10.3 percent). A
number of users rely on IE6 as part of Windows XP, another legacy platform that
Microsoft desperately wants abandoned in favor of Windows 7. Some enterprises
and SMBs (small to midsize businesses) also depend on IE6 for older proprietary
Although IE9 has only been available in
its final version for a few weeks, Microsoft used the past week's MIX11
conference in Las Vegas to preview Internet Explorer 10. Dean Hachamovitch,
corporate vice president of Internet Explorer, offered a breakdown of IE10,
which apparently builds on IE 9's native HTML5 support and performance
optimization. "Internet Explorer 10 will push the boundaries of what developers
can do on the Web even further," he told the audience
at the event.