Microsoft will trial a new method of upgrading its browser Internet Explorer, by making it automatic and hidden in the background, in Australia and Brazil in 2012. The new method puts the browser in line with Google Chrome, who have had this system already in place.
The trial will see users being asked to install the latest version of IE. Of course, when they mean the latest, they mean the latest that is supported on your operating system. Windows 7 and Windows Vista (SP1 only) will see themselves upgraded to IE9, while Windows XP users will be upgraded to IE8.
So XP users should either move to a different browser that supports XP – like Chrome – or upgrade their OS.
According to ZDNet’s Ed Bott, this marks a policy shift as Microsoft lets users to decide if they want to install to the latest browser – a policy that has been in place despite the amount of security problems thanks to Internet Explorer 6 that pretty much tarnished its reputation as a safe browser. Follow-up versions have slowly tried to repair that damage to the brand.
Firefox is already in the works of trying to implement this feature, but that has been pushed back until version 12 (to come in 2012). Apple and Opera have not made a decision on this yet.
If it is a success, Microsoft will expand this to other markets gradually – which could also mean the United States.