As a follow-up to my prior blog post about Automatic Update/Windows Update distribution that began gradually in April, I want to provide an overview of the control users have over the installation and experience.
First, to reiterate what I explained last month: when offered by Automatic Update, IE8 will not automatically install- the user has control over whether to upgrade to IE8. When offered IE8, three choices are offered: Ask later, install, or don’t install. If one chooses “Ask me later” then IE8 will continue to be offered via Automatic Update, and choosing “Don’t Install” will cause IE8 to no longer be offered via this method. Users who choose “Don’t Install” can still download IE8 from http://www.microsoft.com/ie8 or from Windows Update as an optional update.
Users continue to have complete control over IE8 settings and behavior throughout the first-run experience and ongoing use. For example, if IE is not the default browser in Windows, the option to change this setting is presented in a wizard that runs the first time IE8 is launched.
The “express settings” option allows one to view and set several pre-defined settings, many of which are optimized for safety and reliability:
Update 5/9/09: We have updated the above screenshot. The original screenshot was taken when Internet Explorer was already the default browser at the time of the upgrade to IE8 – in that case the default browser setting is not shown, since choosing the Express Settings option would not make any changes to this setting. If a browser other than Internet Explorer is the default at the time of the upgrade to IE8 the wizard will appear as shown above, displaying the default browser setting.
For service settings such as the search provider, express settings will respect your existing service choices when upgrading from a prior version such as IE7 or a prior pre-release version of IE8. For more information about IE8’s services, see Jane Kim’s Personalize IE8 through Services post.
If one wants to manage these settings more granularly, the “Choose custom settings” option provides the ability to set each setting individually:
Finally, while using IE8, if another browser is set as the default users will be given the opportunity to change the default, as well as determine whether to be reminded again:
Different browsers take different approaches to how their settings are managed; IE8 is designed to leave the decisions to the user, providing choice and control over the browsing experience.
Lead Program Manager
Edit 5/9/09: Updating first screenshot. The original screenshot was taken on an upgrade when IE was already the default browser. The updated screenshot is taken on an upgrade when a different browser is the default. See this new blog post for more details.