IE7 will be 'High Priority'
According to CNet:
IE 7 will be delivered in the fourth quarter as a "high priority" update via Automatic Updates in Windows XP, Gary Schare, Microsoft's director of IE product management, said in an interview Tuesday.
As much as I dislike Microsoft "forcing" new software on people through their Automatic Updates system, I'm pleased to hear this. I have a few musings on this from a couple of the different perspectives I inhabit as a nerd and IT professional.
Squashing bugs that appear only in IE6 is a hugely frustrating part of a development cycle, and takes up entirely too much time. Designing for IE5 is far worst, but that browser has been largely ignored by the design community (as far as serving those user-agents rich content, at least) for the past couple of years. Now, given the above news, we'll be ignoring that dinosaur. As for IE6 users, the numbers will spike downwards sharply. Hopefully it won't be long before we can ignore that beast as well.
This makes me very very happy.
User Support Consultant:
So basically, users will be forced to upgrade to a new (and very different-looking) browser unless they actively try not to. This scares the poop out of me. There are a LOT of people out there who barely feel comfortable using IE6 after having used it for several years now. These people don't adapt well to even small changes to their computing environment. And yes, there are even those people still out there who don't know how to type a capital letter (you know, by using the shift key?). I kid you not.
These people won't understand what's going on, why things have changed, or how to use their new browser. They will freak out. We will have to help them not to freak out, and set their world straight.
To you wonderful (and technologically compentant) people reading this blog: if you haven't tested the IE7 beta, now is the time to start. If, for some reason, you are unlucky enough to be stuck using some required service that doesn't play nice with anything besides IE6, you can still be clever enough to run both browsers side-by-side. I've written about this trick previously.
Also, tell your IE-using friends and family. Get them to upgrade now (or try the clever hack above). Walk them through the transition now, and on your own time. It's easier to ease a few people into new software in small groups than it is to field tons of calls for help all at once. At the very least, spread the word so people aren't caught by surprise.
IE7 is better than IE6. It has better default settings, better default behavior, and is designed to play happily in your system with far less permissions than the previous version. Improved anti-phishing tools, better handling and control over scripting. Widespread use of this browser will (at least until the black-hat-wearers figure out new exploits and methods of social hackery) make people safer. At least initially. But as always, we'll fight those next battles when we get there.
Read more (via Mezzoblue)