Win7, Vista Need Upgrade to Run Internet Explorer 9

Dennis Faas's picture

Microsoft has taken considerable flak from critics and end users in its decision to not allow Windows XP to run Internet Explorer 9. The only operating systems currently supported are Windows Vista and Windows 7.

But the requirement doesn't stop there. In fact, those interested in using Internet Explorer 9 will need to upgrade their copies of Windows Vista to Service Pack 2 (SP2) and Windows 7 to Service Pack 1 (SP1).

News of the requirement comes courtesy of a frequently asked question (FAQ) posted on Microsoft's website. "Organizations must plan, pilot and deploy Internet Explorer 9 as part of or after a Windows 7 Service Pack 1 deployment," the site read. (Source:

Internet Explorer 9, SP1 Expected Early 2011

What's so significant about this statement is that there is no release date to Windows 7 Service Pack 1.

A service pack is a  collection of all updates to the operating system (OS) to date, and often include other, major changes to core files which are not available as standalone patches or hotfixes. (Source:

It is, however, expected that both Windows 7 Service Pack 1 and Internet Explorer 9 will get their release sometime in the first half of 2011, but anything more than that is merely speculation.

For users of the IE9 beta, which has already racked up over two million downloads, news of the update requirements may not be a surprise. The recently-released beta requires a total of four updates for Windows 7, all of them published over this past summer. Most of these address graphical issues that coincidentally make the operating system capable of running IE9.

Microsoft Encourages Users to Try IE9

Microsoft used part of its blog post related to the Windows 7 Service Pack 1 requirement to encourage business users to upgrade sooner than later to its newest operating system, Windows 7. Some reports have suggested business users are continuing to hold off an upgrade from Windows XP until both SP1 and Internet Explorer 9 are available next year.

"Microsoft recommends that organizations do not disrupt ongoing deployment projects but continue deploying Windows 7 and Internet Explorer 8," the company stated in its FAQ.

Still, Microsoft wants everyone to at least take IE9 for a test drive. "Regardless of your organization's stage of Windows 7 deployment plans, we still encourage you to explore the Internet Explorer 9 Beta," said Windows marketing executive, Rich Reynolds, in a blog post on Tuesday.

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