XP SP3 will not let you downgrade IE

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Windows XP users who just upgraded to the new service pack will not be able to downgrade back to Internet Explorer 6 after that option would be impossible. This also applies to those who are running the beta version of IE8.

Jane Maliouta, deployment manager for IE8, has written on MSDN that the decision to prevent downgrading was "by design".

Those who have the Beta 1 version of IE8, you will not get SP3 in your Windows Update to dissuade users from finding themselves not able to downgrade.

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