IE7, IE6 and The Windows Lifecycle

I’ve been getting questions from folks lately who are wondering what will happen to IE6 (SP1) when IE7 ships. “Will Microsoft continue to provide security updates for IE6 after IE7 ships?” “Will customers have to migrate to IE7 by some point in time?”

The answer is simple: IE6SP1’s support policy will not change when IE7 ships. Everywhere that IE6SP1 is supported today, IE6SP1 will continue to be supported until the OS it ships with expires. Are you running IE6SP1 on Windows 2000 SP4? You will continue to get support for IE6SP1 until Windows 2000 expires (slated expiration: 2010). Are you running IE6SP1 on Windows XP SP1? You will continue to get support there until it expires in October. If you’re running IE6 for Windows XP Service Pack 2, you can stay with that version of IE for as long as Windows XP SP2 is around. I would continue listing versions of Windows, but I think you get the idea.

Additionally, users will not be forced to migrate to IE7 when it’s released. Of course, we hope our users will upgrade – we’re proud of IE7 and are excited to see it ship! But, if you don’t want to move, you won’t have to. We will continue to keep our IE6 customers secure for those of you who can’t or don’t upgrade to IE7. As previously mentioned, Windows Update’s Automatic Updates will offer IE7 to everyone by default, but it won’t force you to install it.

I’ve blogged about this before as well in case you want to see what I said about the lifecycle 18 months ago. And as always, be sure to check out our official lifecycle site for a full list of products, dates, and definitions.


Christopher Vaughan

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