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Microsoft Releases IE 10 Blocking Tool for Windows 7 Systems

Microsoft last week released a new tool that will block the automatic installation of Internet Explorer 10 on Windows 7 systems when that browser arrives.

The Internet Explorer 10 Blocker Toolkit can be downloaded here. It's specifically devised for those organizations that have Automatic Update turned on for their Windows 7 end users but don't want those users to get IE 10 for some reason. The toolkit prevents users of IE 8 or IE 9 on Windows 7 from getting automatically upgraded to IE 10. It supports organizations running "Windows 7 SP1 and higher for x64 and x86 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 and higher for x64," according to the download page description.

However, the toolkit doesn't prevent users from getting IE 10 from the Microsoft download center and installing it themselves. In addition, the toolkit doesn't prevent an upgrade if users already have the IE 10 release preview installed.

The toolkit isn't intended for use by organizations that use the Windows Server Update Services solution to manage their updates. Organizations that use Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager also don't need this toolkit.

The new toolkit was announced at Microsoft's Internet Explorer blog on Wednesday. While the availability of the blocker toolkit would seem to suggest that the actual release of IE 10 for Windows 7 is imminent, Microsoft has not indicated exactly when IE 10 for Windows 7 will be available in as a final release-to-Web product. IE 10 for Windows 8 was released on October 26, but its Windows 7 sister product has lagged behind. The whole IE team seems to have gone dark on publicly announcing the progress of IE 10 on Windows 7, although veteran Microsoft observer Mary Jo Foley found indications in mid-January that the last test version of the browser had been delivered select testers.

This release of Microsoft's browser is somewhat more important for businesses than IE 10 for Windows 8 as many organizations may have just upgraded to Windows 7 from Windows XP, and may not be so quick to move to Windows 8. Microsoft gave its own estimate about the progress of business migration to Windows 7 last month when Tami Reller, chief financial officer and Windows chief marketing officer at Microsoft, said that "we're now well past the 60 percent mark with deployment [of Windows 7]."

A release preview of IE 10 for Windows 7 has been publicly available since November. That test version of the browser for Windows 7 arrived after about five months of silence on the browser's progress. IE 10 for Windows 7 is expected to add native HTML 5 support features and will have the do-not-track privacy feature turned on by default.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is online news editor for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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