Earlier this week, Microsoft said the final version of IE9 will require Windows 7 Service Pack 1, as Gregg Keizer of Computerworld reported.
But Microsoft's FAQ on IE9 for IT professionals now says the opposite:
"When Microsoft releases Internet Explorer 9, will it require Windows 7 Service Pack 1?
No. Internet Explorer 9 will install on systems that have either Windows 7 RTM or Windows 7 with Service Pack 1 (SP1) installed."
According to Ars Technica, a previous version of the FAQ said that "Internet Explorer 9 will require Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1). Therefore, organizations must plan, pilot, and deploy Internet Explorer 9 as part of or after a Windows 7 SP1 deployment."
Despite the change in wording, Microsoft says its plans for IE9 haven't changed.
"There wasn't a change in plans about IE9 requiring SP1," a Microsoft spokesperson said in response to a Network World inquiry. "Honestly the shift in verbiage on TechCenter should probably be considered as a clarification about how IE9 requirements will be approached."
Microsoft recently released IE9 in beta, showing off a significant improvement in speed and performance in the Internet Explorer browser. The question in the FAQ concerns how the post-beta version of IE9 will be deployed.
Windows 7 Service Pack 1 is also in beta, and will not receive a final release until the first half of 2011.
Although IE9 will be able to run on pre-SP1 versions of Windows 7, a system reboot will be required to install additional operating system components.
"When you install Internet Explorer 9 on a system that has Windows 7 RTM installed, additional operating system components are included as part of the installation of Internet Explorer 9," Microsoft says. "When you install Internet Explorer 9 on a system that has Windows 7 SP1 installed, these additional components are already present with Windows 7 SP1, and do not need to be reinstalled when you install Internet Explorer 9. For this reason, a system reboot is not required when you install Internet Explorer 9 on a system that has Windows 7 SP1 installed."
Microsoft's IE9 FAQ says enterprises should not wait for IE9 to deploy Windows 7. Instead, they should move forward with Windows 7 deployments with Internet Explorer 8 and upgrade to IE9 when it is ready.
Windows 7 deployments are happening rapidly, with market share now at nearly 16%, ahead of the market share for Windows Vista. However, Windows XP is still the most widely used operating system, with nearly 61% of the market.Microsoft also has the most widely used browser, with 60% of users on Internet Explorer, according to Net Applications.
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This story, "Microsoft's new stance: IE9 won't require Windows 7 Service Pack 1" was originally published by Network World.