Microsoft has finally announced that it will roll out automatic upgrades for Internet Explorer; with a 'measured approach' starting with people in Australia and Brazil and then scaling up.

Microsoft has previously eschewed automatically pushing people from one browser version to the next, principally because of its enterprise customers.

However people in Brazil and Australia who have Windows Update set to automatic will be pushed from one IE version to the next.

Auto upgrade

"Today we are sharing our plan to automatically upgrade Windows customers to the latest version of Internet Explorer available for their PC," blogged Microsoft's Ryan Gavin.

"This is an important step in helping to move the Web forward. We will start in January for customers in Australia and Brazil who have turned on automatic updating via Windows Update.

"Similar to our release of IE9 earlier this year, we will take a measured approach, scaling up over time."

Following suit

With rivals like Safari and Chrome both defaulting to automatic updates, it was only a matter of time until Microsoft followed suit, although it is making it easy for businesses to opt out of auto upgrades to try to keep everybody happy.

"One of the things we're committed to as we move to auto updates is striking the right balance for consumers and enterprises – getting consumers the most up-to-date version of their browser while allowing enterprises to update their browsers on their schedule," added Gavin.

This is a very big deal for Microsoft, a company that is keen to stop its market dominance from slipping away as the world finally leaves legacy browsers like IE6 behind.