Dec 15, 2011

How do you feel about Microsoft's plans to begin automatic IE updates next year?

In a month or so, Microsoft plans to start using Windows Update to install the newest version of Internet Explorer automatically. Even those XP holdouts will get pushed to IE8, the most recent compatible version of IE. Is this this a good thing?  I'm not sure how happy I am that The Man is making the choice for me.




I thinks it's a strategy of mircrosort for earning more money, doing these kinds of update very harmful for home users.




I'm ok with it, especially if it gets people off IE6 (Too new to be retro, too old to be good).  I don't use IE, but I do use Chrome, and Chrome has been auto-updating for quite a while, with no ill effects that I have noticed.  And I have noticed positive effects, but in a passive way.  It's been a long time since I've dealt with a virus on my own machines, in part thanks to critical updates being installed promptly and automatically.  Hey, they are called critical for a reason.  Firefox also pushes auto updates, for that matter. 


I've never even noticed when Chrome is auto-updating, and hopefully IE will be as painless, although we shall see about that.   

I run Linux and Mac OS X mostly. I only use Windows 7 once in a while, so I'm not too worried about this. I suppose it depends on your perspective. It will be much more convenient for people because they won't have to worry about manual updates. Some folks won't like it though if they want to stick with earlier versions of iE.

It will bring about a certain amount of uniformity in browser use though among Windows users. So there are pros and cons to it.

Still, no one is forced to use IE even on Windows. Chrome, Firefox, Opera and other browsers are available if people want them. So I don't think it's anything to really worry about in the long term. Just don't use IE if the latest version doesn't interest you.
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