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IE8 Automatic Update

Careful! This post is looking a little old and could be inaccurate in many, many ways

The final version of Internet Explorer was launched on March 20th and yet a month has not even passed and it has been announced that the browser will be made available as an automatic update. Of course web developers around the world are rejoicing as this seemingly marks a move towards a simpler life with a more standards compliant IE. But it’s not all so simple.

Breaking the Web

One of the mantra’s of the Internet Explorer team is to not break the web. To many within the industry this may sound a little ironic as they blame Internet Explorer’s many versions to be the root cause of broken websites. The compatibility mode and compatible meta tag were engineered to help smooth the transition to Microsoft’s most standards compliant browser. Yet is a few weeks enough time to give Web Developers time to get to grips with IE8 and update sites with the compatible meta tag (where necessary) before what should be the mass adoption of the new browser?

From Three to Two to One?

Unfortunately the IE8 update is not a forced update and users can decline the update or block it altogether, yet many expect this to be the end of IE7 and a return to a time where only two versions of IE were necessary for web developers to test with. Yet as with IE6 we will be lucky to be totally rid of the browser for some time yet, and this is not something we cannot control.

Although it’s most certainly a good thing that Microsoft are now using their update technology to roll out IE updates it’s unlikely that we will be able to test in only a single version of IE for the majority of websites for a long time yet.