Trying to get people up to date

From January 2012, Internet Explorer users will be automatically updated to the latest version of the browser as Microsoft starts a project to update millions of machines to, amongst other things, improve online security.

Future updates to the browser will be applied without a user’s knowledge to help counter the numerous scammers who try to catch people out with fake updates, although those who do not want their browser updated can either opt out or uninstall the software.

The upgrade programme will affect IE users running Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7 and will first be rolled out in Australia and Brazil. Only those Windows users with automatic updates turned on will be enrolled in the programme.

Those using Windows XP will be upgraded to IE8, those on Vista and Windows 7 will be updated to IE9. It is hoped by most that this action will mean the demise of IE6, a 10-year-old version of the browser that Microsoft has been trying to kill off for quite a while and one which, due to its non-adherence to standards, is loathed by web and website developers.

Microsoft estimates that IE6 is used by about 8.3% of people around the world, with the biggest number of users in China, where almost 28% of people still use it.

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