Microsoft Changes Upgrade Policy on Internet Explorer 9

Dennis Faas's picture

Earlier this week we reported that the upcoming Internet Explorer 9 web browser would require Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1). Since that post, it appears that Microsoft's website regarding this issue has been changed.

For those who have already installed the Internet Explorer 9 Beta Edition, the installation process requires a Windows Update, followed by a restart of the operating system (OS).

According to Microsoft's updated FAQ, the single most important reason for announcing the Windows 7 Service Pack 1 requirement was to prevent Internet Explorer 9 installations from requiring a system restart. Thus, it was expected the final edition of Internet Explorer 9 would require a similar process. (Source:

Change in Internet Explorer 9 Policy Prompts Speculation

It's unknown exactly what prompted Microsoft to change its original announcement regarding Windows 7 Service Pack 1.

Some critics speculate it would have been enough to scare some users (and particularly, system administrators of huge networks of computers running Windows 7) from performing the upgrade to IE9.

That's because a Service Pack update is a major update which overwrites system files, which can also lead to complete system failure if it fails to install (due to a malware infection, for example). This was most definitely the case when Windows XP Service Pack 2 rolled out, trashing many systems in the process.

Windows 7 Service Pack 1 Release Date: Unknown

Others wonder if the change in policy has something to do with the unannounced Service Pack 1 release date. That said, it's entirely possible Windows 7's first Service Pack simply won't ship prior to Internet Explorer 9's final release, with both expected to be released sometime in early 2011.

There is also ongoing speculation as to why IE9 would have required a Windows 7 SP1 to begin with. Some critics suggest the move is an attempt by Microsoft to force business users into an update, however, new system files and other components could just as easily be rolled into the IE9 install itself, without requiring the service pack altogether.

Win7 RTM to Require Reboot, Nothing Else

Microsoft confirms that on their TechNet blog, writing "When you install Internet Explorer 9 on a system that has Windows 7 RTM (release to manufacturing) installed, additional operating system components are included as part of the installation of Internet Explorer 9." (Source:

Thus, in the end it would appear Internet Explorer 9 will install without issue on either an Windows 7 RTM or SP1 system, but the former will most definitely require a system reboot. (Source:

Rate this article: 
No votes yet