Now that IE7 has released, I want to remind everyone about the plan we announced back in July to distribute IE7 via Automatic Updates (AU) and point you to the readiness materials we’ve created.
To help you become more secure and up-to-date, we will distribute IE7 via Automatic Updates as a high-priority update. We will start very soon with those of you who are already running IE7 pre-releases and then move onto IE6 users after a few weeks. We will progressively roll out to all IE6 users over a few months, so don’t be surprised if you don’t see the update right away. (Of course, users who can’t wait that long can download IE7 from http://www.microsoft.com/ie.)
Of course we want to make sure you are ready to upgrade, so AU will notify you when IE7 is ready to install by presenting a welcome screen. You can choose whether or not to install it; IE7 will not install without your consent.
I also want to remind you that IE7 setup will preserve your current toolbars, home page, search settings, and favorites and will not change your choice of default browser. You will also be able to roll back to IE6 by using Add/Remove Programs. Only a user who is a local administrator will be offered the update. You can find more details and screenshots here.
Organizations using Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) and System Management Server (SMS) can manage the IE7 deployment like they do other updates. The IE7 package will be classified as an Update Roll-up and must be approved to install on designated groups of Windows XP and Server 2003 clients.
Organizations that use AU to keep their computers up-to-date can use a free Blocker Toolkit to block automatic delivery of IE7. This blocker has no expiration date; you can find more information in the blocker FAQ. I also recommend you review the additional information for IT administrators at the Windows Update/Microsoft Update site on TechNet. Organizations that want to block the distribution of IE7 through AU should have their blocking measures in place by November 1, 2006.
Group Program Manager