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Microsoft: How to opt out of IE8

For those who don't want the upgrade, instructions are necessary

Internet Explorer 8 will arrive as an "update roll-up" via Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) on Aug. 25, according to  Microsoft.

IT pros who use WSUS and have turned on automatic updates for roll-ups via the update service will get the IE 8 update starting on that date. However, if that proves problematic because some desktops should not get the upgrade, Microsoft described a workaround: Simply turn off the auto-approve option for update roll-ups before Aug. 25.


More on this topic from GCN:

IE8 slowed by third-party apps

IE 8 earns high marks for security in reports

Microsoft: IE8 bugs squashed


Even after that date, there's still a way to block the IE 8 upgrade. Microsoft prescribed the following steps in a blog:

    1. Synchronize your WSUS server
    2. Decline the IE 8 updates
    3. If business requirements are to auto-approve update roll-up packages, you can re-enable auto update for "update roll-ups."

Microsoft offers a toolkit to block the delivery of IE 8, but it comes with a catch. The toolkit is designed to only block the delivery of IE 8 via Automatic Update, as well as via the Microsoft Update and Windows Update Web sites. The toolkit is not designed for users of WSUS, Software Update Services or Systems Management Server, and won't work in those cases.

Users of Microsoft Small Business Server products who elected to install them using the default setting will still have to manually approve the delivery of IE 8 "in the SBS Console or WSUS Console," according to an SBS blog.

Microsoft officials tend to emphasize better security and performance with IE 8, especially over its older products like IE 6, which shipped with Windows XP. However, IT pros still may have applications that depend on using an older version of the browser -- hence the need to block the upgrade.

Microsoft claims that tests by NSS Labs have shown superior security marks for IE 8 compared with other leading browsers. Those findings were described in two July NSS Labs reports, which compared browser protection against malware and phishing schemes. The reports apparently were sponsored by Microsoft, according to an Ars Technica article.

IT pros can customize IE 8 packages for bulk delivery to end users using Microsoft's Internet Explorer Administration Kit 8 (IEAK 8), which can be accessed here.

IEAK 8 allows IT pros to set defaults for the browser. For instance, the kit can be used to customize IE 8's "Accelerator" feature, which pops up with a list of options when users highlight text. Similarly, IEAK 8 can be used to add Web Slices to the browser. Web Slices represent content from other Web pages that gets updated. Also, the kit can set IE 8's primary browsing mode (IE 8 or IE 7) by selecting the browser's "Compatibility View" setting.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is the online news editor for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group sites, including Redmondmag.com, RCPmag.com and MCPmag.com.

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