Microsoft announces automatic upgrades for Internet Explorer

San Francisco : Microsoft Thursday announced that it will automatically upgrade the Internet Explorer (IE) to the latest version to give Windows customers more protection against malicious software.

According to the company’s blog post, starting from Australia and Brazil next January, users of Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7 will get the IE updates if they have turned on automatic updating via Windows Update.

Microsoft said the industry has been moving toward automatic updates as a norm since the biggest online threat these days is social engineering malware typically targeting outdated software like web browsers, reported Xinhua.

Automatic upgrades, also called silent updates for displaying no messages or windows during the progress, has been deployed by Google’s Chrome and Mozilla’s Firefox. It can ensure users have the newest versions of the browser, and therefore is seen as a big improvement to Internet security.

According to the Microsoft Security Intelligence Report released in October, 99 percent of all attacks during the first half of 2011 came from unpatched but known vulnerabilities, and 90 percent of infections were attributed to vulnerability exploitation that had a security update available from the software vendor for more than a year.

In the latest research data from web analytics company StatCounter, Microsoft’s IE has a strong lead with 40.63 percent of global browser market share, followed by 25.7 percent of Chrome and 25.23 percent of Firefox.

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