Microsoft announced today that for the first time it would automatically begin updating Windows users to the most recent browser version supported by their OS (IE8 for XP, IE 9 for everyone else) - in the past, IE has been offered as an optional or recommended update, and users have been given the opportunity to opt out before installing. Users who have opted not to upgrade in the past, users who have installed one of the IE Automatic Update Blockers, users who have Automatic Updates disabled, and enterprise customers who grab their updates from a local WSUS server will not be upgraded automatically. These automatic updates will begin rolling out to Australian and Brazilian Windows users in January, with other territories to follow.

This is the latest step in Microsoft's campaign to reduce IE6 usage - the Internet Explorer 6 Countdown site aims to reduce worldwide usage of IE6 to 1% of the browser market, down from its current 8.3%. The release and success of Windows 7 as well as the increased popularity of third-party browsers like Firefox and Chrome have done a lot to eradicate the ten-year-old Internet Explorer 6, but in spite of that it still retains a fair amount of market share, especially in Asian countries like China, India, South Korea, and Taiwan.

To encourage upgrades, Microsoft has included a few lines of code you can add to websites you administer to prompt users of IE6 to upgrade. Enterprise users, on the other hand, have been offered mostly training courses and case studies showing the benefits of switching.

Google, Facebook, Amazon and many others have already dropped official IE6 support from many of their products and web sites.

Source: Microsoft

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  • sinerasis - Thursday, December 15, 2011 - link

    That site has been around for a long time, and was not launched today.
  • dirtyrobot - Thursday, December 15, 2011 - link

  • pseudo7 - Thursday, December 15, 2011 - link

    Where does it say it was launched today?
  • pseudo7 - Thursday, December 15, 2011 - link

    Nope my bad - it is wrong. Tut tut
  • afleury - Thursday, December 15, 2011 - link

    October 2009:
  • Andrew.a.cunningham - Thursday, December 15, 2011 - link

    Right? Dunno what's wrong with me today.

    Switched around some paragraphs to fix this.
  • TOAOCyrus - Thursday, December 15, 2011 - link

  • bupkus - Thursday, December 15, 2011 - link

    Windows 2000 didn't require an Activations therefore it could be installed on as many computers as you wanted. I think IE 6.0 is the newest MS browser that can be installed.
  • DanNeely - Thursday, December 15, 2011 - link

    Warezdows XP is very popular in China. Disabling automatic updates is the easiest way to keep from accidentally getting WGA installed on your computer and severely downgrading your Warezdows experience.
  • tipoo - Thursday, December 15, 2011 - link

    China and India make up the bulk of IE6 use, no surprise there as from my experience many Windows licenses are illegitimate XP copies there. Even with the forced updates, you can't get the machines specifically set NOT to update.

    Japan, you have no excuse for the 6.5%, lol.

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