Preinstallation Planning

To install Windows® Internet Explorer® 8 successfully, you must carefully plan your deployment processes and strategies. This section contains information about how to evaluate and plan your deployment, including:

1. Evaluating users' computers for compatibility with Internet Explorer 8

System requirements for Internet Explorer 8

2. Identifying your deployment method

Select your deployment method

3. Planning your test environment

Planning for a test lab

System requirements for Internet Explorer 8

The table below lists the minimum requirements your computer needs to run Internet Explorer 8. Some components may require additional system resources that are not listed.

Internet Explorer 8 will run on Windows Vista® (with or without Service Pack 1 [SP1]), Windows XP (SP2 or SP3), Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, Windows Server 2003 SP1, and Windows Server 2008. The memory requirements listed are for Internet Explorer 8. Any computer with the recommended amount of memory for Windows (for example, 1 gigabyte [GB] for Windows Vista Enterprise) will meet the memory requirements for Internet Explorer 8.


Internet Explorer 8 is not included in Windows Vista.

Minimum requirements


Computer with a 233 megahertz (MHz) processor or higher (Pentium processor recommended)

Operating system

Windows Vista x64 and x86

Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1) x64 and x86

Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2)

Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3)

Windows XP Professional x64 Edition

Windows Server 2008 x64 and x86

Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 (SP2) x64 and x86


For Internet Explorer 8:

Windows Vista – 512 megabytes (MB)

Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1) – 512 MB

Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) - 64 MB

Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3) - 64 MB

Windows XP Professional x64 Edition - 128 MB

Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 (SP2) - 64 MB

Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 (SP2) ia64 - 128 MB

Windows Server 2008 – 512 MB

Hard drive space

100 MB or more


CD-ROM drive (if installation is from a CD-ROM)


Super VGA (800 x 600) or higher-resolution monitor with 256 colors


Modem or Internet connection; Microsoft® Mouse, Microsoft IntelliMouse, or compatible pointing device

Select your deployment method

Internet Explorer 8 can be deployed using the following methods:

  • Windows Update

  • Windows Server Update Services (WSUS)

  • Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) 2007

  • Microsoft Systems Management Server (SMS) 2003

  • Network shared folder

  • CD

  • Hyperlink from e-mail or Web page

  • Active Directory® using Group Policy (using an .msi installer)


Internet Explorer 8 does not provide a Windows Installer (.msi) package to deploy through Group Policy. If you choose to use Group Policy to deploy Internet Explorer 8 you should use your current strategy for packaging executable files into .msi installer files.

The method you select for your organization's deployment will depend on your existing infrastructure, security requirements, and user location. Internet Explorer 8 is primarily distributed by Microsoft through Windows Update, and it is configured to update users' computers automatically. Automatic update requires the users' approval to complete the update. This makes Internet Explorer 8 available to all users who can connect to the Internet.

To use Windows Update to distribute Internet Explorer 8 in a managed environment, you can publish Internet Explorer 8 as an approved update through WSUS.


Deploying Internet Explorer 8 through Windows Update, WSUS, a shared folder, a CD, or a hyperlink all require user intervention to configure the installation. Deploying Internet Explorer 8 through SCCM, SMS or Group Policy can be performed silently, without user intervention.

Planning for a test lab

Your test lab configuration will be determined by the size and complexity of your organization. In the simplest configuration, you should have:

  • Test computers that represent the computers and operating systems present in your environment.

  • Access to internal Web sites and browser-based applications for testing.

Consider the following when you plan your test lab:

  • Use the Internet Explorer Application Compatibility VPC Images to evaluate Internet Explorer 8 using Virtual PC technology:

  • The Internet Explorer Administration Kit 8 recommends that you build installable packages on the destination operating system. If your organization uses 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows XP, you will want to build your installable packages on each platform.

  • Internet Explorer 8 supports only Windows Vista in 32-bit and 64-bit versions, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, and Windows Server 2008. If you have users' computers with other versions of Windows, you should plan to upgrade or replace those operating systems (or plan to exclude those users' computers from the Internet Explorer 8 deployment).

  • If you plan to distribute Internet Explorer 8 through WSUS, you should have access to a WSUS server for testing.

  • If you plan to deploy through SCCM, SMS or other management software, you should have access to management software for testing.

Additional references

For more information about Internet Explorer 8, including necessary hardware requirements, see the Internet Explorer 8 Web site