Gold-en Rant : Microsoft to shove Internet Explorer 7.0 down your throat

I was at a software developer conference earlier this week when I bumped into a couple of Windows developers who still code up material for the XP environment - a dying breed, believe you me.

There's uproar in the development community, it seems, as Microsoft is said to be forcing XP punters to upgrade from Internet Explorer 6 to 7 via the automatic Windows Update function.

The critical date is February 12th, which means that anyone who has set their updates to auto-load, will get IE 7.0 effectively without being asked from that date onwards.

IE 7.0 was launched back in 2006 but, despite this, some ISP estimates suggest that around 25 per cent of their portal visitors are still using IE 6.0 - mainly because it just works.

Granted, the IE 7.0 bloatware has pots of added features like tabbed browsing, a search box-enabled toolbar and automated text to ensure everything fits on the same page, but not everyone wants to upgrade for upgrading's sake.

There's still a good chance that those XP users who have switched automated updates off - not an easy task for many users, given Microsoft's nanny state approach to settings I can tell you - will avoid the update for now.

This is a perfect time, I think, to upgrade to Mozilla Firefox, Opera or even Apple Safari for Windows. Then you'll be rid of the Microsoft browser monster once and for all...