Microsoft Starts IE8 Push to Enterprises

Microsoft this week is making Internet Explorer 8 (IE8) available to corporate IT shops via Windows Server Update Services (WSUS).

WSUS is Microsoft’s (NASDAQ: MSFT) update deployment tool for IT organizations.

As a result, IE8 is now available via WSUS for Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, and Windows XP, according to a post this week on the IEblog by Eric , lead program manager for IE.

IE8 will be offered to IT administrators as an “update rollup” package. However, using WSUS does not force IT to accept the upgrade.

“Note that even if Auto-Approve for the ‘Update Rollup’ category is on, Internet Explorer 8 will not automatically be deployed — you must approve the Internet Explorer 8 License Terms before Internet Explorer 8 is deployed to your downstream clients,” Hebenstreit said in his post.

However, agreeing to the license terms once constitutes agreement for deploying all the items, he added.

Microsoft first began offering IE8 in March. In late April, the company began pushing it out to users via automatic updates, although users could decline its installation, and Microsoft offered a blocking tool to keep it from being automatically installed. Users who changed their minds later could install IE8 manually.

The WSUS update rollup is available for all languages and for all supported operating systems, with some exceptions for XP.

Language support for XP currently includes English, Arabic, Chinese (Traditional), Chinese (Simplified), Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese (Portugal), Portuguese (Brazil) Russian, Spanish, Swedish, and Turkish.

An additional 34 languages for XP, including Hindi; Thai, Ukrainian, Vietnamese, Bengali, Indonesian, and Punjabi, will be released on September 22, the blog post said.

Further information on the IE8 update rollup is available at the Internet Explorer TechCenter on Microsoft TechNet.

IE8 received accolades for providing more extensive support for Internet standards when it launched. However, due to that support, many sites that have been tweaked to support quirks in earlier versions of IE no longer display correctly. Microsoft since made several changes, including a list of sites that need special settings that IE8 can check.

Called the Internet Explorer 8 Compatibility View List, updates will also be released via WSUS, as will be cumulative security updates.

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