back to article Microsoft copies Google with silent browser updates

Internet Explorer is about to do more than just look like Chrome - it'll silently update on your PC just like Google's browser, too. Microsoft in January will start rolling out auto updates moving you to the latest edition of IE available for your machine's operating system. Platforms covered are Windows XP, Windows Vista and …


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  1. JimmyPage Silver badge

    Sorry MS

    Chrome rocks. I really can't find anything to dislike about it.

    1. Steven Roper

      It is a good browser

      except for the fact that Google quietly record your browsing history, and that a fair percentage of people who have it on their computers did so because it snuck on there malware-fashion on the back of some other program's installer.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Yeah but who doesn't gather something about you these days? You think Mozilla foundation and Opera are squeky clean? I believe Opera have one of the biggest surfing habit DBs in the world, granted the difference is that Opera will not release the info for commercial sale...yet!

        Sometimes you have to weigh up the risks against what you're getting for your sacrifice and make your decision.

      2. auburnman

        Any chance of backing that up? I'm not having a go at your post, I would genuinely quite like to know more about the browsing recording bit. Not that my browsing history is anything to be nervous about of course - "everything you saw was legal - *in the country it was filmed.*"

        1. Zippy the Pinhead


          Opera uses a server to "Accelerate" your surfing... a caching server... in other words they are storing sites you visit on their end.

          1. ZweiBlumen

            @Zippy the Pinhead

            No it doesn't - not by default, although it has got this capability. Opera Mini on the otherhand does, but that's the whole point of Opera Mini!

          2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

            Opera's acceleration...

   opt-in. If you have a decent internet connection, it probably slows you down since you end up waiting for Opera's server and the one in the URL. I imagine most Opera users aren't using it.

      3. Grease Monkey Silver badge

        It didn't sneak in. There isn't a single install of Chrome that doesn't prompt the user. If the user is so stupid that they click next, next, next, Finish without bothering to read the dialogues then they deserve all they get and more.

        1. Avatar of They

          I have to disagree...

          As an IT Support worker with a lot of stupid relatives I have to disagree, google chrome is on absolutely everything you download from things like CNET to fileserver to file sharing websites. And the tick box is no longer easy to spot because of large colourful pictures.

          By the time you get through all the "click here" to download buttons you are bored and so google creeps through. It is also a must have when anything google installs, google earth etc.

          Before chrome it was the cancerous system leeching google tool bar. So they move on in technology for their trash mongering filth, but the logic remains, to infest your system with whatever they can in the name of helping you out.

          I don't know anyone that uses google chrome yet the % increases. I can only assume it is people finding an icon on their desktop they didn't know they had and click on it to see what it is.

      4. ad47uk

        Use Iron

        Use Iron, it is chrome but without Google spyware, do a search for Iron browser. I disabled IE on my computer or was far as Microsoft will allow you to disable it. Use Iron all the time now

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Let the cheering begin

    In a few years, we may actually feel sorry for Microsoft, the way I feel sorry for Research In Motion...

  3. Captain Scarlet

    Silent Updates

    As long as it doesn't decide to restart your pc if you go away for a cup of tea, more rebootless updates please (Like KSplice)!

    Although I'll probably regret it like when finding a million web browsers toolbars installed on relatives machine after they said uh I just pressed update and this happened.

    1. Graham Marsden

      ...and no focus stealing either!

      After the last lot of patches downloaded and installed, as usual Windows decided that what *it* was doing was more important than what I was doing and flashed up a message saying "You need to reboot", making that the active window.

      Fortunately they've at least stopped auto-selecting the "Reboot Now" button with the result that if you're typing (as I was) and press Return at the wrong moment, you automatically reboot without having the chance to save what you're working on...

    2. Captain Scarlet


      Just realised there probably wouldn't be an update button so I am taking gibberish again (Suprised noone picked up on that). So they would have some software that would auto update and slap on whatever it feeled like.

    3. Wibble

      Test [virtual] machines

      Lets hope the myriad machines we use for testing these God-forsaken IE browsers aren't updated silently. There are some people who *need* to use older IE versions!

  4. Mr_Happy

    Can't Upgrade

    Would love to push newer versions of IE to our users but until we can afford to purchase new versions of our software we can't move past IE6, and even apps that now work fine on IE8 still fail on IE9

    Home users should be fine, but us business users are stuck on older versions for a reason

    1. Lance 3

      In the future when you are evaluating software, you should be using all the browsers to test; IE, Firefox, Safari, Opera and Chrome. If the software will only run on IE, the software should be failed. What is the point of web based apps that are locked to one browser? You might as well as be using a client.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @ Lance 3

        If only it was so straightforward.

        However it is often the case that very specific products are required to meet business / legislative requirements and these are often poorly written and require particular browser versions.

        It is seldom acceptable to the business for IT to come along and prohibit these just because they are more difficult to manage.

        1. Lance 3

          @AC 12:57

          If it is for a legislative requirement, there is always more than one software choice. If it a business requirement and there is only one choice, you are not looking hard enough. A little extra time and effort in the beginning will save countless headaches down the road.

          Worst case, you buy it with a clause in the contract that the web app will support browser standards in x amount of time. Failure to do so will result in free software maintenance until it is. Worst case, they never fix it but you get free support. You might be surprised at the number of companies that agree to conditions like that.

      2. Tasogare

        Re:"You might as well be using a client"

        If you need a client, you should use a client. If we stopped trying to use the web browser as an application platform, many of these problems would go away or at least become more easily manageable. With the right languages and libraries, you can even still make it cross-platform.

        There's some excuse for public-facing services where the user may be unable or unwilling to install a client and you need their participation badly enough (e.g. shopping carts). But beyond that...well, I've seen a few services with both a web interface and a real client, and I've seen programs that went from a real client to a web interface. (VMWare, I'm looking at you...) In no case did the web version *not* make me want to hit babies. With rocks.

        Stop this nonsense forthwith.

    2. david 12 Silver badge

      Can't upgrade...

      Would love to push newer versions of Firefox to our users, but until we can afford to upgrade our line-of-business app, we are stuck on FF 3.6. Even apps that now work fine on FF4 still fail on FF8.01.

      Fortunately, FF updates are no more 'silent' than IE updates, so we only have to roll back the occasional naive user that thinks newer is better.

      Speaking of which, it's not clear from the MS reference that the new IE automatic update will be any different than the IE8 and IE7 automatic updates.

    3. Dan 55 Silver badge


      If you have Firefox 3.6, IE Tab 2 (FF 3.6+), and IE 8 you can set it up so the tabs Firefox opens are in IE 7 mode.

      You might just find you have backwards compatibility on the cheap.

      1. Wibble

        @Dan 55

        Alas IE8/9 running in IE7 mode only emulates some of the endless bugs and features.

        The only guaranteed way of ensuring IE7 compatibility is using IE7 on both XP and Vista (yes, I have come across some bugs that only occur on IE7/Vista and not IE7/XP).

    4. Gordon Fecyk

      How to fix broken app servers for IE8 and 9

      What software do you have that still needs IE6? I've heard the lament, "this doesn't work, that doesn't work" at my workplace and from clients and all I've had to do was fiddle with Intranet Zone listings. Magically, said software started working.

      The keys to making old web-based apps work with IE8 and 9 were:

      * Fix DNS -- talk to application servers by name and not by IP address. Edit the hosts file if you have to.

      * In domain environments, use Group Policy to publish lists of "Intranet Zone" IPs, names, domains, and so on. "Compatibilty mode" is turned on by default for Intranet Zone hosts. "Modern" app servers can enforce "strict mode" by using certain HTML headers.

      * SSL / HTTPS certificate errors? Set up an in-house certificate authority and learn how to use it. If not MS Cert Server included with Server 2000 and later, then OpenSSL. Hostname mismatches? Learn how to use subject alternative names.

      IE8 and 9 relax security and enable older 'compatibility' settings just by using the Intranet Zone effectively, and fixing certificates on app servers that need HTTPS. I've seen some pretty crappy app servers in the past few years and I've gotten them all to work on IE8 and 9. Otherwise, maybe it's time to replace that Exchange 5.5 server with Exchange 2003 at least, already.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I haven't used IE for years, and I don't feel that I am missing anything. Why is it that MS feels that adding silly bells and whistles will make people go to IE?

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Ms doesn't feel that adding bells and whistles make people want IE, it just wishes it did.

  6. BristolBachelor Gold badge

    "Silent updates aren't just needed for IE; they are needed for Windows, too."

    I wouldn't mind a silent update of Windows at home. However a silent windows update won't happen until MS have got your bank details for direct debit.

    I'm stuck on Vista because I refuse to pay the ~£200 "reduced price upgrade fee" to move to Windows 7. For that price, I could almost buy a 2nd hand Mac Mini and run Lion on it.

    1. Sporkinum

      I run Vista on 2 machines at home, but my computer at work is running 7. I really see hardly any difference between the two. Certainly nothing that would warrant spending the money.

    2. The Original Steve


      Try 70 quid. Are you an idiot or a troll?

      1. Steven Davison

        Not tosh...

        The item you posted is an OEM Licence, which cannot legally be used on a machine that isn't *new*...

        If he's got vista on it, it's not new...

        1. The Original Steve

          Suit yourself - £80

          You can buy a component for use in the system, thus a "new" machine legally. Slap on a SATA cable or something and save yourself £8 by getting the OEM I say.

          Only real difference is that it's not transferable and MS doesn't support you over the phone for free. (Unlike the retail copies)

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          I thought you could legally use an OEM licence provided you bought it with an item of hardware.

    3. Goat Jam


      For nada, you could step out of your comfort zone and try say, Linux Mint.

      You are only "stuck on vista" because you choose to be "stuck on vista"

      1. Alan Bourke

        Or maybe

        he has loads of business software, or games, or other software that only run on Windows? If it were that easy the world would be using Linux.

        1. Goat Jam


          maybe he himself touted the idea of moving to OSX which would preclude any legacy software issues, ergo, the option to *try* Linux is still available.

      2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        Finally !

        I'm surprised that it took this long for a Linux plug.

        Not reading a gratuitous reference to Linux in the first five comments really made me wonder whether I was awake or not.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    When are they actually going to turn IE into a decent browser?

    1. Big-nosed Pengie

      "When are they actually going to turn IE into a decent browser?"

      When they turn Windows into a decent operating system.

  8. Ozzard

    Are MS rolling out IE8 or IE9 to machines running pirated Windows?

    If MS is willing to roll out browser upgrades to pirated copies of Windows, the IE6 problem almost goes away. I say "almost" because I'm in healthcare, and am currently working between three organisations that are all stuck on IE6 or (in one case) IE7 because they have line-of-business systems that don't work in any standards-compliant browser.

    1. Dan Beshear

      Not just healthcare ...

      There are other industry who workhorse applications REQUIRE NON-COMPLIANT browsers. Many Multiple-Listed Service apps for the real-estate industry are still stuck with IE7 or IE6 requirements.

      1. admiraljkb

        re Not just healthcare

        I just got into a business that has some areas stuck on XP and IE6 due to compat issues. Most of the problems are related to .Net apps which have turned into a nightmare. Let this be a lesson to all business. Standards only folks. That way you are not stuck to a single vendor point of failure. Multi-source all critical items for your business. The .Net stuff was initially cheap to build/deploy, but the sustaining costs now are extremely high. MS programming languages and (non) standards get pulled out from under dev's all the time, and ultimately are more expensive. My former employ sent MS to the door for their major products in order to move onto Linux where standards mean more predictability in releases. MS pulled the rug out from under them one too many times. (multi-billion dollar per year products).

      2. Anonymous Coward

        I guess they soon won't be using the Internet then

        It won't be long before IE 6.0 simply stops working with the majority of non-trivial websites out there.

        When that happens, I guess if they *must* use IE 6 for their intranet site, they'll have to use something else for the world wide web as you can't simultaneously install multiple versions of IE. That's good news for the alternatives, bad news for Microsoft dominance.

        It also won't be long before running IE 6.0 is impossible on brand new hardware; either because it won't run on the current operating systems, operating systems capable of running IE6 won't run on brand new hardware, or licensing such operating systems becomes an impossibility. (Try purchasing a copy of Windows NT 4.0 or Windows 2000 for example, yes I work for an organisation that had to try and do exactly that for a customer.)

        The obvious question remains, who made the silly mistake to *require* such a castrated web browser in the first place?

        1. Goat Jam

          "they'll have to use something else for the world wide web"

          That is assuming your users actually need access to the www.

          Unsurprisingly, an inability to browse <random_website>results in quite a productivity bonus for the majority of workers.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @Stuart Longland

          "who made the silly mistake to *require* such a castrated web browser in the first place?"

          At the time it was insane to make a product that was not IE6 compatible - you could ignore any other browser but not that one.

          And once you are working to ensure it is compatible, it's a very small step to do something that means it is required without it seeming to be a big decision.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Err ...

          How about companies that run on .NET 1.1? Such as nearly everyone involved in the travel industry who has to use a GDS - Amadeus and Worldspan will not run on anything higher than IE7 and even have a problem with that.

  9. J. Cook Silver badge

    Silent updates for windows?! Are you serious?!?!

    That'll never fly in a corporate shop- I got half the management chain up in arms because I wanted to deploy service pack 1 for Windows 7 almost a year after it was released and all the bugs were worked out of it, because it might break some crusty old enterprise app that barely worked on it to begin with.

    Fortunately, companies larger then the one I work for also spend large amounts of money with M$ on yearly basis, so there'll be an out for us corporate users, just like they did with the forced activation of Office and Windows 7.

    1. NogginTheNog

      I hate to say this but...

      they were right. And you were too.

      It DOES need to be deployed, but it also NEEDS to be fully tested against all business critical applications before being deployed. Just ask yourself, in the very very unlikely event that it DID take down something critical, and cost the company money, do YOU want to be the one explaining that to the board..?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why People Buy Windoze

    A) Polished Looks (very important !)

    B) MS Office

    C) It runs a polished-looking Firefox

    D) It sports a C: drive

    Even those who would be horrified by Linux run Firefox or Chrome nowadays. IE is only for those who are completely clueless. Your analysis is not correct.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Looking At the Clouds - I would put B)

      as number one reason Windows has and will always have the supremacy over the PC world.

      D) doesn't fly with me since almost all the PC users these days have no idea about files and directories, as educated by Windows by the use of abomination that is "My Documents"

      1. admiraljkb

        re: @Looking At the Clouds - I would put B)

        Agreed, and I'll expand it out. B) is the only *BIG* reason now for Windows being in the corporate world, outside of left out option F) "We've always done it this way". The big executive question is "can I run MS Office (and for them, read Powerpoint and Outlook)?" Once you say no, then that OS is off the table. Hence Mac is able to intrude into the corp space in spite of the expense. Everything else is resolvable by some relatively quick retraining and/or restaffing (and/or replacing your vendor since your support desk was probably outsourced anyway). If Libreoffice could get Calc and Impress up to a higher quality level (matching Write), then that would resolve one of the last outstanding issues of switching. Once the Bean Counters' stuff works with LibreOffice, or MS Office (with Outlook) runs perfectly in Wine? Those Bean Counters will override the CIO and push the cheaper solution through the company so fast your head will spin. (and being Bean Counters they'll probably attach copper wiring and put said head in the middle of some magnets for some quick "green" power for the PC's to boot...)

        I'm in both Windows Admin and Linux Admin camps, started off in Windows administration and branched out when the former employer ditched Windows in their embedded product development. (Good thing I did as it really helped my marketability in the current job market, and the Linux positions were more plentiful and paid better particularly for someone with Windows expertise as well). Truth be told, skills-wise, on the desktop nowadays (and I mean TODAY, and not 3+ years ago), they are roughly equivalent for support requirements. That's not to say they aren't different requirements, but they are roughly equivalent.

        1. fzz

          For the Bean Counters

          For most business users it'd be Impress able to replace PowerPoint that would be the big selling point. Calc may be used by many people, but most of its capabilities are untapped, just like Excel.

          For the real quants, better integration between R and gnumeric would be sufficient grounds to ditch Excel. Unless one lusts after coditional formatting eye candy.

  11. b166er

    Mr_Happy, why can't you get them all on 7 Pro and use the XP VM for your legacy stuff?

    It's really not a good idea to be using IE6 anywhere near the internet (never was).

    Same can't be said of IE9, which is in fact a great browser.


    IE9, great for plugins, compatibility and low memory usage

    Chrome, great for speed and low memory usage, poor for compatibility

    Firefox, poor memory management, good for compatibility, improving again


  12. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    How is this different?

    So if you need to have opted-in (by enabling AU) and you can refuse and you can go back later if you change your mind ... in what sense are these "silent updates"?

    Is it just that new versions of IE will henceforth be labelled as "critical" rather than "recommended". If so, then I'm not sure it will actually change anything. There can't be anyone still using IE6 or IE7 who isn't aware that IE8 is there if they want it. Presumably, then, everyone who might be picked up by this modest change has already opted-out.

  13. eulampios

    Carthage and microsoft

    >>With IE only working on Windows,

    Yes, it is not new and is well known that MS makes products for their operating system only. Not that I miss any of it, I almost never use Windows actually, unless have to remove a malware from or fix slow Windows on a friend's PC . Not that I consider it's worth using... Not that MS HAS to have it available for other OS's. Not that it is very hard to have it available. Consider most free and open software, it is almost always crossplatform.

    Well, when you see that the company almost always tries to circumvent, trample and tamper with the IT fundamentals, like the principle of madularity, simplicity and crossplatformity, saying nothing about morality, you get the picture of it. Hence more reason for the disgust and hatred... Sic, ceterum censeo, Microsoftum de Redmondo deledndam esse

  14. Penguin herder


    More breaking changes that are forced, or at best, optional only on an opt-out basis. I would be really concerned about this, *if* I were still running Windows for more than a couple of legacy systems.

  15. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Andrew 59

      I hate Chrome because this loop never finishes...


      for (i=1;i==0;i-=1)


      alert (i);



      Most browsers work fine, but Chrome does weird things.

      Simple maths fail.

      Also, Google is evil and their software won't respect what MSConfig tells it to do.

  16. gujiguju

    Chrome = IE6

    While Chrome has made some browser advances -- just as IE6 did back when it was current, Google's shameless illegal-tying to their own sites and dragging their feet with the other majors, including Opera, is ugly... (Ever tried doing a weather search in the pathetic Android, unChrome browser? Notice no slider in Opera Mobile or iOS Safari?)

    With 90% monopoly search share, when will dozing regulators wake up...? (I guess all that Google lobby money in Washington is paying off...)

    Meet the New Boss, same as the Old Boss.,2817,2397158,00.asp

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @gujiguju - Not quite correct.

      You search with Google because either you want it or you need good search results. However, you should face the truth that nobody is forcing you to type in your address bar. The same way I remove Bing,as a search provider from both IE and Firefox, you can do it with Google. If you don't know, ask here and we can help but don't tell us you're being forced by Google to use its searching engine.

      1. Goat Jam

        In Fact

        When you first install Chrome it asks you which search engine you want as default.

        IIRC your options are Google (goog), Bing(msft) or Yahoo(msft) so actually 2 of the three options you are given are for MS provided search.

        Does IE give you such a choice? No, no it doesn't, you have to deliberately figure out how to switch to Google.

        Despite MS illegally leveraging their monopolies* (Windows->IE->Bing), Google still has the highest market share.

        I think that says something about what people actually want despite the whining coming from Redmond and their hordes of sycophants.

        * IE is less a monopoly than it once was, despite it still benefiting from being prominently installed on every mandatory installation of MS monopoly OS. That also says something about what people actually want.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @AC - Out of interest why do you remove Bing?


          @Goat Jam - IE does give a browser search choice, I just ran through a Chrome install and it didn't. Either way Microsoft v Google is not Bad Buys v Good Guys.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What about enterprise web apps...

    ...designed for ie6?

    Do they not risk bricking or at least severely damaging a lot of customers' systems?

    1. DJV Silver badge


  18. FozzyBear


    When I read the title and grab for the story I had a glimmer of hope that Micro$lop were finally dumping IE in favour of a better Web browser (Chrome, Firefox). The next second my medication kicked in and I realised how fanciful that hope was.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I hate IE, Chrome and Safari

    Firefox is ok (so far). Not a big fan of Opera, but I don't hate it.

    Anything Google or MS does is always suspicious too me....I don't trust those two at all.

  20. petur

    Content-driven desktop?

    "You can see a list of pinned sites here and see the kind of rich, content-driven desktop idea Microsoft had in mind here."

    Which is why, on windows 7, you can no longer have webpages integrated in the desktop (active desktop). It certainly pissed off my father (I'm on linux & I'm fine with screenlets)

  21. veti Silver badge

    I'm wondering... How exactly is this update going to be pushed out? That is - of all those computers out there still running IE6, how many even have Windows Updates switched on?

    I'm sure MS has an idea of the answer to that, but I haven't seen it mentioned anywhere.

  22. P. Lee

    Silent Updates

    It's all fun and games until you check your 3G data usage...

  23. bobdobbs

    silent brick wall

    Older versions of Windows are being limited to outdated versions of IE? Even when they're ripping something off they can't get it right!

    Expecting users to shell out and upgrade their OS just so they can break through the IE upgrade glass ceiling will push even more of them into the arms of Google and their ilk.

    With stupid (Windows-cash-cow protecting) restrictions like this, they'll never stop the user-base bleed to Chrome.

  24. tempemeaty

    Nothing like a big company violating your computer

    So your runS a number graphic progys and such, the software is stable, coexisting and then the big brother decides it's their computer not yours and forces software updates on your computer. Suddenly a good stable running situation is borked. Some of your programs are unstable and big brother has ruined your software tools working together with this. Who owns your computer? You or them?

  25. Mage Silver badge

    "pin" to Task bar?

    Umm.. you can save a web link and have it on your task bar in XP. It then opens with a single click in the default ("any") Browser.

    So how is IE9 and the Apple clone Win7 taskbar pin better?

    In fact I suspect you can do similar on ANY OS and Browser actually modern enough to be usable on the Internet safely (XP is over 10 years old).

    1. Ben Tasker

      I was wondering that too, surely it's just a shortcut to a URL? I'm not sure I'm aware of a properly configured OS/Browser combination that can't do that.

      Are we missing something, or is it just MS spin on a 'feature' that's not actually new?

      1. Fuzz

        pinning to taskbar is slightly different

        In Windows 7 the buttons on the taskbar act as shortcuts to the programs and also the way of selecting open programs. If you pin a site to the taskbar then this indicator is moved to the location of your pin. It's quite useful if you use several web based applications, by default they are all grouped under the IE button on the taskbar together with any other website you have open. Selecting one with the mouse involves hovering over the button and choosing the correct tab from the ones that pop up. If you have aero glass you do this using thumbnails (peak) if you have no aero glass you are stuck with the page titles.

  26. Wensleydale Cheese

    Windows update tried to make me miss my train this week

    Time for home.

    "Do not switch off your computer" it said.

    Nuts to that, I ain't missing my train.

    (though in fact the relevant instance was in a VM, so I simply suspended it)

  27. KirstarK

    I hate chrome and its spyware.

    I f***ing hate ie9. I like ie8. I have blocked the update to ie9 on my systems because of this.

    I like firefox 8 and use it and ie8 all the time.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "With IE only working on Windows, however, the idea is that IE gives you one more reason to buy Windows"

    People who use IE don't know what a browser is, its just "teh intar web button". Similarly they don't choose Windows, its just what comes on the machine.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      B*llocks mate!

      The same could be said of Safari on Mac, Firefox in linux (shipped on a lot of netbooks). While you are generally right, I actually prefer IE because I get to choose when I update the sodding thing.

      For me, Firefox always seems to choose the *least* convenient time to update; I'll want to show someone something, or quickly check cinema times and rush out... "PLEASE WAIT WHILE WE UPDATE! - GRRRR!

      Yes, I have these disabled on my own machine, but I tend to use a lot of other peoples machines, where changing their settings is considered impolite.

      So, while many people will no doubt shoot me down in flames and extol the many benefits of Firefox with Adblock etc etc, the fact remains that some of us that do actually know what a browser is are happy with IE and perfectly capable of updating the damn thing when WE want to.

      1. Wensleydale Cheese

        Firefox updating at the least convenient time

        "For me, Firefox always seems to choose the *least* convenient time to update; I'll want to show someone something, or quickly check cinema times and rush out... "PLEASE WAIT WHILE WE UPDATE! - GRRRR!"

        Yes, I've had that with Firefox and it is indeed annoying. I've seen it do that right in the middle of other folks' presentations too.

        Though with the flavours of Linux I use the latest Firefox comes with a bundled software update which you can apply when _you_ decide to.

  29. Grease Monkey Silver badge

    In the space of three paragraphs you neatly contradicted yourself there. First you say that holdouts will be booted up to the latest version.

    Then you say "You won't be forced to move, if you've deliberately decided old is your thing."

    They can't both be true can they.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bosses reaction: "Well it won't affect us because IT lock down our systems."

    I probably shouldn't complain about guaranteed money but when the end of the month comes and they want to know where £1.2m of web development went I might point and say "supporting fecculant IT depts that think paying it's ok to spend hundreds of thousands securing a network and VPN only to leave IE6 and Lotus Notes installed on it like a gaping hole in the office wall"

    -and if you're a manager, consider the salary IE6 support costs. It's only 'kin necesarry because you don't have the balls to stand up to an admin who is your EMPLOYEE and is clearly doing a bad job.

  31. squilookle

    I use Chrome for my day to day browsing, Firefox and IE8 (at work) and IE9 (at home) for testing.

    I think to an extent, whatever Microsoft do with IE, the name is tainted and is going to conjure up negative images for a while. They might be able to fix this by releasing a few really good versions that get positive press and reviews and make us forget about IE 6 - 7, but it is not going to happen overnight.

    In the mean time, I actually think smart phones and tablets will hurt IE, simply by making some users realise that the blue E and Internet Explorer != the internet. If they can get on the Internet in different ways on those devices, then why not on the desktops as well...

    Personally, if they can release a few really good versions of IE, I will consider moving to it. I'm not loyal to any one browser and have used IE, Firefox, Chrome, Opera and Konqueror as my main browser at various times in my life - whichever suits my needs best at the time.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Will it update itself? Without admin rights?

    Not even Chrome dared this, you must visit the about link first.

    If IE manages to update itself silently without admin rights... (shudder)

    1. Wensleydale Cheese

      Will it update itself? Without admin rights?

      It certainly can if the system has been set up to allow non-privileged users to apply Windows Update patches.

      But speaking of non-privileged accounts, both Firefox and Opera had problems with these until this year.

      In my experience, from a non-privileged account Firefox wouldn't even let you check to see if an update was available , while Opera would try to apply the update and fail.

  33. yossarianuk

    Doesn't I.E have hooks embedded in the whole OS ? - slient updates potentially brake your OS

    Unlike Firefox and Chome I.E has deep hooks in your OS (as far as i'm aware). so couldn't a (bad) silent update break your entire system?

    At least if a silent update broke Chrome/Firefox/Opera at least you change browser - you can't if your OS suddenly becomes un-bootable

    Hey I could be wrong, I avoid anything MS.

  34. b166er

    @AC 10:18

    We're always remoting to people's desktops, and the ones that are using IE, have named their desktop shortcut 'The Internet' lol

    The Internet, there's an app for that

  35. Steve 76
    Black Helicopters

    IE? What's that for?

    I should be outraged, but then I never use IE and find a good fire wall can block any MS traffic.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    there's no reason anybody should still be on IE6?

    There is if your internal site doesn't work on anything else and you can't be bothered to fix it!

    1. Gordon Fecyk

      "Can't be bothered to fix it" is your fault, not Microsoft's

  37. Doug Glass


    More crap about more crap that 99% of the world's computer users don't give a shite about.

  38. accountant

    Google Chrome wins

    Chrome works with Google Apps for Business.

    IE9 on Win7x64+antivirus takes more than 10 seconds to launch; on the same machine, Chrome is instant (<1 sec).

    Enough said.

  39. Bob. Hitchen

    Don't use IE except on the rare occasions when I needed to re-download chrome. I'm waiting for the first mega cluster F where a silent update kills or severely disables boxes worldwide: It isn't like MS have a perfect record. I don't use firefox since it's such a memory hog. I use to but chrome meets my needs. Windows XP OK for games but these days little else and it will run most older games. I might just disable the network period and just use XP for that.

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