Earlier this quarter, Microsoft casually made the announcement every web developer had been waiting to hear for years: Internet Explorer Automatic Updating.
That’s right, Microsoft surrendered and admitted defeat in its battle to drive web developers insane. For those of you who don’t quite grasp the implications of this, here is a quick breakdown of what’s already taking place:
- Windows XP users still surfing with IE6 or IE7 will be forced up to IE8.
- Windows Vista and Windows 7 users still on IE7 or IE8 will be forced to IE9.
- When IE10 finally launches, Windows 7 and Windows 8 users will be automatically updated.
This may not mean very much to some of you, but to web developers, this means the world. Automatically opting slow-to-adapt users into the modern age is something that should have taken place years ago. Finally the majority of browser users will be able to take advantage of the vast improvements they’ve been missing out on in code, speed and interaction.
So what’s the catch?
Microsoft remains loyal to its thousands of Enterprise users who can’t simply upgrade due to archaic intranets and custom in-house programs. We’re slowly starting to see more progressive companies restructure their internal operations to adhere to modern web standards.
Rumors have also been whispered about a standalone version of IE7 which enterprise users can run alongside the latest browsers. This solution would be the best case scenario, allowing all users to move forward and embrace the true power of the web.
Given these recent announcements and fast implementations by Microsoft, web developers finally may be able to start developing experiences for the near future, not the distant past.