Microsoft has begun pushing Internet Explorer 7 to users through Windows XP's Automatic Update.
When IE 7 launched last month, Microsoft executives said that the browser update -- which will come with a "high priority" label -- would start hitting users this month. "We've told enterprise customers to be ready [for IE 7] by Nov. 1," said Margaret Cobb, the group product manager for the browser, in an October interview.
The SANS Institute's Internet Storm Warning security center said Thursday that it had taken reports from users who had received the IE 7 update. "Unless you setup the respective blocking script, expect IE 7 to be installed on your systems if they are configured to retrieve and install high priority updates from Windows Update," advised Johannes Ullrich, the ISC's chief research officer, in a note posted online. Other users posting to Microsoft's own IE-specific newsgroup also said that they had received notification of IE 7's availability through Automatic Updates.
Microsoft said it will start out slow, then pick up the pace for IE 7 updates as it becomes comfortable with the server load and bandwidth demands. The automatic update to the new browser begins with the English-language version, but will be extended to other localized editions as they're completed.