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IE9 Now Auto-Updates; Chrome 16 Gets Cloud Printing

By - Source: Microsoft | B 15 comments

Internet Explorer will now auto-update to the latest version if auto updating is enabled in Windows Update.

Following Mozilla and Google’s lead, Microsoft said on Thursday that Internet Explorer will begin to update itself automatically to the latest version starting in January.

Customers in Australia and Brazil will see the auto-updating first if the feature is turned on in Windows Update. A rollout schedule for other territories is unknown at this point, but Microsoft's Ryan Gavin said in a company blog that, like the release of IE9 earlier this year, Microsoft will take a measured approach, scaling up over time.

Obviously Microsoft's first priority is to get customers using older versions of Internet Explorer forcibly updated to the latest stable build. "For consumers, the safety benefits are one of the key reasons that the industry has been moving towards automatic updates as the norm," he said. "This is increasingly important since the biggest online threat these days is socially engineered malware, which typically targets outdated software like Web browsers."

But Microsoft also understands that there are situations where upgrading is not possible or desired. Thus, the company has released the Internet Explorer 8 and Internet Explorer 9 Automatic Update Blocker toolkits to prevent automatic upgrades of IE. Additionally, customers who have declined previous installations of IE8 or IE9 through Windows Update will not be automatically updated.

"Customers have the ability to uninstall updates and continue to receive support for the version of IE that came with their copy of Windows," Gavin said. "And similar to organizations, consumers can block the update all together and upgrade on their own. Finally, future versions of IE will provide an option in the product for consumers to opt out of automatic upgrading."

Meanwhile, arch enemy Google Chrome 16 now adds cloud print by default. Google Cloud Print (GCP) made its debut earlier this year, appearing as one of the main features in Chromebooks and as a product test in the Chrome beta channel. The goal, according to Google, is to enable simple, secure printing from any app on any device to any printer without the use of cables and drivers.

"People with Chromebooks have always had access to the latest and greatest Google Cloud Print features, but today, we’ve reached a new milestone: starting with the latest release of Chrome, anyone using the browser on Windows, Mac and Linux will be able to print any webpage to Google Cloud Print," writes product manager Akshay Kannan. "We’ve also turned on print preview for Chromebooks, so you’ll get the same familiar experience wherever you use Chrome."

On Thursday website analytics company StatCounter said that the older-yet-stable Chrome 15 has become the most popular web browser version worldwide for the first time on a weekly basis. In the last full week in November, Chrome 15 took 23.6-percent of the worldwide market compared to Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 8 at 23.5-percent.

"If one aggregates all versions then IE still leads the global market with Chrome in second position, having overtaken Firefox in November," StatCounter claims.

The company added that in the U.S., Internet Explorer 8 continues to be the most popular browser version with 27.0-percent for week beginning December 5 compared to 18.1-percent for Chrome 15.

Display 15 Comments.
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  • 2 Hide
    bourgeoisdude , December 16, 2011 3:17 PM
    I'm extremely happy that Microsoft has put this in place for Windows XP users. Nobody should be running IE6 anymore unless absolutely necessary for those legacy business apps. I'm not as sure about Win7 users being forced from IE8 to IE9. In Windows 7, IE8 is fairly secure with auto updates, particularly with protected mode. There are still many websites that don't render correctly under IE9, and while compatibility mode helps there are still some issues.

    I do think IE9 is vastly superior to IE8, especially speed-wise, but I'm not sure everyone should be forced to use it yet.
  • 1 Hide
    thrasher32 , December 16, 2011 4:16 PM
    bourgeoisdudeI'm extremely happy that Microsoft has put this in place for Windows XP users. Nobody should be running IE6 anymore unless absolutely necessary for those legacy business apps. I'm not as sure about Win7 users being forced from IE8 to IE9. In Windows 7, IE8 is fairly secure with auto updates, particularly with protected mode. There are still many websites that don't render correctly under IE9, and while compatibility mode helps there are still some issues.I do think IE9 is vastly superior to IE8, especially speed-wise, but I'm not sure everyone should be forced to use it yet.



    Is this a test? IE9 doesn't run on Windows XP.
  • 0 Hide
    classzero , December 16, 2011 4:37 PM
    I only use IE9 for Microsoft sites (windows update). IE just needs to go away.
  • 0 Hide
    belardo , December 16, 2011 4:57 PM
    IE... Still the suckist browser. But 9 is the best from them.
  • -2 Hide
    lradunovic77 , December 16, 2011 5:23 PM
    IE9 is just fine browser, everything renders propertly and it supports web standards. Firefox is too slow and bloated and Chrome sucks ass as far as javascript execution goes. As developer I find IE9 the browser ever.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , December 16, 2011 5:25 PM
    Correct me if I am wrong but the newest Microsoft web browser that Windows XP users can use is IE8. That basically means that the only way that Microsoft is going to get anything out of this silent update feature is migrating Windows 7 users to IE10 when it comes out at some point in 2012.

    Does anybody know if IE10 is going to have a rapid release cycle like Chrome and Firefox? If not, then it will, like IE9, quickly become redundant shortly after it's release.
  • 0 Hide
    livebriand , December 16, 2011 7:34 PM
    I don't quite trust google, IE is a bit slow and lacks addons (like an adblocker), and chrome is in general pretty good - addons, fast enough, and as long as you disable addon compatibility checking you'll be fine (download the compatibility reporter).
  • 1 Hide
    twinlazer , December 16, 2011 8:29 PM
    Lolol the title is like a giant fuck you to microsoft
  • 1 Hide
    JohnnyLucky , December 16, 2011 11:29 PM
    Looks like Microsoft is actually giving users a choice.
  • 0 Hide
    The-Darkening , December 16, 2011 11:40 PM
    Coo
  • 0 Hide
    AMD X6850 , December 17, 2011 1:29 PM
    IE 9 is the first decent browser version in recent times that Microsoft has put out.
    Everything renders similarly to its counterparts (Firefox, Chrome, Opera), well enough so that it doesn't require its own CSS Stylesheet to do so.

    Unfortunately, the sad news is that XP users won't be able to get IE9 =.=
  • 2 Hide
    thrasher32 , December 17, 2011 1:31 PM
    ZingamDo you know what MS? F... you! Why! Because your crappy non-standard compliant browser has created a myriad of developers who have created amazing amount of web sites that do not work properly with anything above IE 6. Yes, some of these sites are of government agencies and banks designed for IE and they do not work properly on any other browser than IE. They are even not so compatible with newer versions of IE like version 8/9.That's why I hate Microsoft and I don't want to see it take over more markets. That's why nobody should use IE. Everybody should prefer open source standards compliant web browsers or they are screwing themselves in the long term.


    *facepalm* why can't the developers update their code to make it work right? I mean that IS their job, right? It's what I do, and it's not all that hard to be perfectly honest.
  • -2 Hide
    amdfangirl , December 17, 2011 9:55 PM
    The debate between Chrome and Firefox is pretty meaningless.

    Why? Because there are still people using... Internet Exploder 6, 7 and 8 out there.

    If anything we should all be (us Firefox and Chrome users) helping switch browsers for those poor souls rather than having a debate between the relatively small diferences between Firefox and Chrome (in comparison to Chrome/Firefox vs. IE 6,7,8)
  • 0 Hide
    cookiecrusher , December 19, 2011 6:10 PM
    If you aren't using FF or Chrome and are using IE, shame shame. IE 9 stinks. There are settings they removed that prevent a simple pdf statement from loading from a financial institution. How do I know it is IE and not the institution? Because they load fast in FF and Chrome.
  • 0 Hide
    eddieroolz , December 20, 2011 1:23 AM
    Let's hope this does something about the IE7/IE8 shares.