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22 January 2008, 16:21

Microsoft issues advance warning of automatic IE7 upgrade

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Microsoft has published an article in its Knowledge Base to warn administrators of the imminent update of Internet Explorer to version 7. The software giant intends to mark the update on 12 February as an Update Rollup package, which means that it will automatically be distributed and installed on corporate networks whose SWUS servers are configured to auto-approve such packages. Many companies have not yet updated from IE6 to IE7: some have critical, often locally developed, business applications that do not work or have limited functionality with the newer version of the browser.

The Microsoft Knowledge Base article explains how administrators can prevent the automatic update from taking place. First, they have to disable automatic approval of Update Rollups and then synchronize the WSUS servers with the Microsoft servers. After the 12 February, Internet Explorer 7 will then appear in the list of non-approved updates. According to Microsoft, the option to automatically approve Update Rollup packages can then safely be reinstated.

A similar WSUS server option caused some problems last October when Microsoft marked the optional desktop search as the latest version of an update, with the result that this software was automatically installed on large numbers of corporate PCs. For update packages to be approved automatically, the update for the software in question must already have been approved in advance. Microsoft wishes to prevent a reoccurrence of last year's confusion and has issued a warning to administrators in order to allow them to prepare for the IE7 update.

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