Microsoft rolls out silent IE updates
Automatic browser updates are designed to help improve online security
Microsoft is rolling out automatic updates for its Internet Explorer (IE) browser. From January 2012, all IE users will be automatically updated to the latest version of the browser, according to the BBC.
Microsoft said that it was starting the automatic updates to improve security online and said that future updates to the browser would happen without a user's knowledge, to help beat scammers sending out fake updates.
Users who do not want their software updated can opt out or uninstall the software, according to Microsoft.
"The web overall is better - and safer - when more people run the most up-to-date browser," said Ryan Gavin, Microsoft's IE boss, in a blog post.
Gavin said that according to data gathered by Microsoft for its security intelligence reports, cyber-criminals target old or outdated software, trying to trick users into installing fake updates, which compromise a computer's security.
The upgrade will affect IE users running Windows XP, Vista and 7, and will first be rolled out in Australia and Brazil.
Only those Windows users with automatic updates turned on will be enrolled in the programme.
Users using Windows XP will be upgraded to IE8, while those on Vista and 7 get bumped up to IE9.
A Microsoft study suggested that 8.3% of people globally use IE6, the largest number of users still on IE6 is in China, where almost 28% of people still use it.
Globally, 52% of people use Internet Explorer, according to net market research firm Net Applications.