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Internet Explorer 9 Delivery through Automatic Updates

Windows Internet Explorer 9 makes browsing the web faster, easier, safer and more reliable than ever. To help customers become more secure and up-to-date, Microsoft will distribute Internet Explorer 9 via Automatic Updates and the Windows Update and Microsoft Update sites. Internet Explorer 9 will be available for users of the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008.

This article provides an overview of the delivery process and options available for IT Administrators to control how and when Internet Explorer 9 is deployed to their organization through Automatic Updates. Customers wishing to delay the delivery of Internet Explorer 9 into their organization should use the Release Candidate period to ensure they have blocking measures in place. Distribution of Internet Explorer 9 by Automatic Updates will begin slowly and take several months to complete. Customers can expect to be offered the upgrade to Internet Explorer 9 at any time in the months following the release of Internet Explorer 9.

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Automatic Updates Delivery Process

The automatic delivery process will notify users that an update is available and allow users to choose whether to install Internet Explorer 9.

Automatic Updates will only offer Internet Explorer 9 to users with local administrator accounts. Automatic Updates will notify all such users (including those with Automatic Updates configured to automatically download and install updates) when Internet Explorer 9 has been downloaded and is ready to install. The notification and installation process will not start unless and until a user who is a local administrator logs on to the machine. Users who are not local administrators will not be prompted to install the update and will thus continue their currently installed version of Internet Explorer.

After clicking on the Automatic Updates notification balloon, users will see a welcome screen summarizing key features of Internet Explorer 9 and presenting three options: Install, Don’t Install, and Ask Me Later.

  • If a user selects Install, installation of Internet Explorer 9 will not override a user's default browser choice and will transfer the user's previous homepage, favorites, search settings and compatible toolbars. When the user launches Internet Explorer 9, a first-run experience will be offered highlighting new features and changes.
  • If a user selects Don't Install, the notification process will not re-prompt the user to install at a later time; however, any user who is a local administrator will be able to install Internet Explorer 9 at any time as an optional update from the Windows Update and Microsoft Update sites or from the Microsoft Download Center.
  • If a user selects Ask Me Later, the install process will not proceed and Automatic Updates will start notifying the user that an update is available using the same process (notification balloon and welcome screen) according to the local Automatic Updates settings.

Internet Explorer 9 will replace Internet Explorer 7 or Internet Explorer 8 on a user's machine. However, users may roll back to Internet Explorer 7 or Internet Explorer 8 by uninstalling Internet Explorer 9. Windows 7, Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 can uninstall through the Windows Control Panel Programs and Features utility under the View installed updates option.

note iconNote:
If a user has installed Internet Explorer 9 and subsequently removes it, Automatic Updates will re-offer Internet Explorer 9 to that machine using the process above in order to bring it up to date. In this case, a user need only select the "don't install" option at the welcome screen. Internet Explorer 9 will no longer be presented by Automatic Updates.

Internet Explorer 9 Automatic Upgrades

Internet Explorer 9 will be available as an “Important” update through the Automatic Update feature of Windows Update. Users of Windows Vista® Service Pack 2 and Windows 7, who have opted to download and install updates automatically through Windows Update (recommended setting), will automatically be upgraded to Internet Explorer 9.

Users who have previously declined Internet Explorer 9 by clicking the “Don’t Install” option above will not be automatically upgraded.

If a user who had been automatically upgraded to Internet Explorer 9 decides to uninstall Internet Explorer 9, Internet Explorer 9 will be made available as an optional update through Windows Update.

Options for Blocking Automatic Delivery

Microsoft recommends that organizations who are using Automatic Updates in their environments and wish to prevent users from automatically receiving Internet Explorer 9 take one or more of the following steps:

  1. Download and deploy the Internet Explorer 9 Blocker Toolkit. The non-expiring Blocker Toolkit is available from the Microsoft Download Center. It includes both a Group Policy template and a script that set a registry key to prevent Automatic Updates and the Windows Update and Microsoft Update sites from offering Internet Explorer 9 as a high-priority update. (Note: The Blocker Toolkit will not prevent users who are local administrators from manually installing Internet Explorer 9 from, for example, external media or the Microsoft Download Center.) Using the Internet Explorer 9 Blocker Toolkit also prevents your users from receiving automatic upgrades from Internet Explorer 7 or Internet Explorer 8 to Internet Explorer 9. For more information, see the Internet Explorer 9 Blocker Toolkit Frequently Asked Questions.
  2. Deploy an update management solution that provides full control over the updates deployed to computers in your network. Microsoft offers the free Windows Server Update Services and the more advanced Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager and Systems Management Server 2003 update management products. IT Administrators using an update management solution should use the standard features of their product (rather than the Blocker Toolkit) to control Internet Explorer 9 distribution.
    note iconNote:
    If your organization uses WSUS to manage updates, and Update Rollups are configured for automatic installation, Internet Explorer will automatically install throughout your organization. This scenario is discussed in detail in the Knowledge Base article here.
  3. Instruct users to decline Internet Explorer 9 when Automatic Updates notifies them that the update is available to install. If the above options are not feasible for your organization, you can also instruct your users to choose “Don’t Install” when prompted by the Internet Explorer 9 welcome screen. Users will not need to take special action to receive notification, and all users will have the ability to decline installation.

Additional information on Internet Explorer 9, including a Readiness Toolkit, technical overview, in-depth feature summary, and Internet Explorer 9 download is available on the Internet Explorer 9 product page and on the Internet Explorer 9 TechCenter.

Availability of Internet Explorer 9

Distribution of Internet Explorer 9 by Automatic Updates will begin shortly after the final release of the product, which is expected in 2011. Administrators should use the Release Candidate 1 period in Q1 2011 to finalize and execute their blocking plan. The specific dates for the release of Internet Explorer 9 have not been finalized. Internet Explorer 9 will be distributed through Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager, Microsoft Systems Management Server and Microsoft Windows Server Update Services.

Preventing Automatic Installation of Internet Explorer 9 with WSUS

Microsoft will release the Windows Internet Explorer 9 Installation and Availability update to Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) marked as an Update Rollup package. If you have configured WSUS to "auto-approve" Update Rollup packages (this is not the default configuration), Windows Internet Explorer 9 will be automatically approved for installation and consequently, you may want to take the actions below to manage how and when this update is installed. The Internet Explorer Blocker Toolkit blocks only installation that occurs by using Windows Update and Automatic Update. The toolkit does not block distribution that occurs by using WSUS. You will need to take action if:

  • You use WSUS to manage updates in your organization.
  • You have Windows Vista Service Pack 2 (SP2)-based computers, Windows 7-based computers, Windows Server 2008 Service Pack 2 (SP2)-based computers, or Windows Server 2008 R2-based computers that have Internet Explorer 7 or Internet Explorer 8 installed.
  • You do not want to upgrade Internet Explorer 7 or Internet Explorer 8 machines to Windows Internet Explorer 9 at this time.
  • You have configured WSUS to auto-approve Update Rollups for installation.

The following steps will temporarily modify the auto-approval that you may have created to ensure that packages classified as Update Rollups are not automatically approved for installation. These steps are the steps for WSUS 3.0. For WSUS 2.0 please refer to the product documentation.

  1. Click Start, click Administrative Tools, and then click Microsoft Windows Server Update Services 3.0.
  2. Expand ComputerName, and then click Options.
  3. Click Automatic Approvals.
  4. Click the rule that automatically approves an update that is classified as Update Rollup, and then click Edit.
    Note: The properties for this rule will resemble the following:
    • When an update is in Update Rollups
    • Approve the update for all computers
  5. Click the Update Rollups property under the Step 2: Edit the properties (click an underlined value) section.
  6. Clear the Update Rollup check box, and then click OK.
  7. Click OK to close the Automatic Approvals dialog box.
note iconNote:
If you do not see a rule that resembles step 4, you have not configured WSUS to automatically approve Update Rollups for installation. Therefore, no further action is required.

The steps above ensure Windows Internet Explorer 9 is not automatically approved for installation. After the Internet Explorer 9 package is available for download, you should manually synchronize the new package to your WSUS server so that when you re-enable auto-approval for Update Rollups it will not be installed. These steps are the steps for WSUS 3.0. For WSUS 2.0 please refer to the product documentation.

  1. Click Start, click Administrative Tools, and then click Microsoft Windows Server Update Services 3.0.
  2. Expand ComputerName, and then click Synchronizations.
  3. Click Synchronize Now.
  4. Expand ComputerName, expand Updates, and then click All Updates.
  5. Choose Unapproved in the Approval dropdown.
  6. Ensure that Windows Internet Explorer 9 is listed as an unapproved update.
    Note: There may be multiple updates listed depending on the language and operating system updates you imported.
Optional

If the business needs of your organization require that Update Rollups packages are set to auto-approve, you can change your settings back to auto-approve in the Update Services Microsoft Management Console Snap-in. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Click Start, click Administrative Tools, and then click Microsoft Windows Server Update Services 3.0.
  2. Expand ComputerName, and then click Options.
  3. Click Automatic Approvals.
  4. Click the rule that automatically approves updates of different classifications, and then click Edit.
  5. Click the Update Rollups property under the Step 2: Edit the properties (click an underlined value) section.
  6. Enable the Update Rollups check box, and then click OK.
  7. Click OK to close the Automatic Approvals dialog box.
note iconNote:
Because auto-approval rules are only evaluated when an update is first imported into WSUS turning this rule back on after the Windows Internet Explorer 9 update has been imported/synchronized to the server will not cause the auto-approval of this update.