XP users to get IE7 foisted on them

Microsoft will distribute Internet Explorer 7 (the cut-down XP version of IE7+ that will come with Vista) as an automatic update to Windows XP the software giant has revealed.

Users can choose not to receive it but to do so they must download the IE7 blocker toolkit from Microsoft in order to permanently stop it from being downloaded automatically or included in the “express” option in Windows Update.

However in a concession to users who don’t want the update for compatibility or other reasons Microsoft will display a “welcome” screen once IE7 has downloaded that allows users to choose to “install now” “don’t install” or “ask later”.

Microsoft released beta 3 of IE7 at the end of June. It advised that in this beta it had changed the keyboard shortcuts from earlier versions of IE which could confuse users who get the final version of IE7 automatically installed onto their machines.

Microsoft says it has also improved the user interface compared to previous versions of the beta.