Earlier this week Microsoft revealed that in preparation for the release of Internet Explorer 8 they have taken steps to make the transition as easy as possible. Internet Explorer 8 has a planned release as part of the auto update functionally of all Windows Operating Systems.

“We believe IE8 helps make browsing the web faster, easier, safer and more reliable. To help our users be more secure and up-to-date, we will distribute IE8 via Automatic Update (AU) and the Windows Update (WU) and Microsoft Update (MU) sites much like we did for IE7.”

Along with this preparation Microsoft has released an upgrade blocker with businesses in mind. For security and compatibility reasons it is wise for corporate IT departments to test new internet browsers before they commit fully to them. The IE8 Blocker Toolkit does just that; stalls the auto update process and allows for internal application tests with the new browser.

The official release date for IE8 has not yet been announced but it is known that Microsoft plans to release one final test release during the first quarter of 2009. It is expected that the IE8 release will be coincide with Windows 7, which is also scheduled for release later this year.

The upgrade to IE8 is targeted as a “high priority” for Windows XP and Windows Server 2003; both of which suffer from security vulnerabilities. For windows Vista the upgrade is not as crucial because of tighter security but is still listed as “important”.

If you are in charge of your businesses IT deployment and would like to learn more about the Internet Explorer 8 Blocker Toolkit you can read more about here.

– Richard Keene
IT Computer Support of New York
Design and Optimization Department