Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 10 was first released as the default browser in Windows 8.
But this latest version of IE will also run on Windows 7 and could soon show up on your Win7 desktop — whether you expected it or not.
An Internet Explorer upgrade long in the making
If you’re running Windows 7 SP1, that browser running underneath your operating system is getting a bit long in the tooth. No, I’m not talking about the browsers you likely use on a daily basis — Chrome or Firefox — but Internet Explorer 9. Released in March 2011 for Windows Vista and Windows 7, IE 9 has been standard on Windows 7 ever since.
IE 10 first arrived on the desktop with Windows 8 — and only Win8 — and reportedly with better CSS, HTML 5, and hardware-acceleration support. (It was also included with Windows Server 2012.) But Microsoft planned a Win7 version of IE 10 right from the start. This past November, it gave us a look at that version when it released Internet Explorer 10 Release Preview.
Microsoft has still not given an official release date for IE 10 for Win7, but there’s a strong clue that it’ll be soon. As announced on an IEBlog post, Microsoft has just released the IE 10 Blocker Toolkit, which allows IT managers to disable automatic IE 10 installation on their systems. Historically, application-blocker toolkits are released soon (typically 32 days to 84 days) before the release of a final product, as noted on a Midas blog.
That’s important for PC admins, because IE 10 for Win7 will arrive on most Windows 7 systems via Windows Update. The IE blocker tool doesn’t stop manual installs of IE 10; it simply adds the following Registry entries (also shown in Figure 1) to block automatic installations.