Microsoft has slowly begun shipping automatic updates of Internet Explorer 7 (IE 7) to all users of the English language version of the browser.Microsoft had rolled out automatic updates of the new browser to beta testers, beginning shortly after IE 7\u2019s Oct. 18 launch, but it had been telling the rest of IE 6 users\u00a0to be ready for these updates, effective Nov. 1.In fact, these automatic updates started going out a few days ago, said Gary Schare, a director of product management with the IE team. "On Wednesday of this week, we began a very slow distribution through automatic updates, throttled way down so a very few users would see it."Microsoft has been sending the updates to 1 percent of English-language IE 6 users\u2014about 1 million PCs\u2014per day, Schare said.Schare\u2019s team is allowing three months to roll out the automatic updates to all users, but\u00a0it hopes\u00a0the process will move more quickly than that. "We\u2019d like to get the software out to as many people as quickly as possible, because we think there\u2019s a lot of security value," he said.The IE team has been keeping the pace of the rollout low to prevent Microsoft\u2019s technical support center from being overwhelmed, and to prevent administrators who are not blocking the update from being crushed with software updates next week when Microsoft will release six sets of security patches. "We keep the IE throttle low, so when the security updates come out next Tuesday, they still have priority over IE," he said.To date, the IE 7 updates have been going "quite smooth," Share said. But he declined to say whether he now thought the rollout would finish ahead of the self-imposed three-month deadline.Though these automatic updates are sent without any interaction from the Windows user, the software asks customers whether they want to install IE 7 before proceeding with the installation.European and Arabic-speaking users should begin to see automatic updates of IE 7 in the next few weeks, with German, French, Spanish, Brazilian and Arabic versions expected as soon as Nov. 15. The last versions to be distributed will be the Japanese, Korean, Chinese and Hebrew versions of the browser, which are due by the end of June 2007.A road map of the IE 7 rollout can be found here.-Robert McMillan, IDG News Service (San Francisco Bureau)Related Links:\n\nMicrosoft Internet Explorer 7 Browser Released\n\nSecond 1E 7 Flaw Discovered, Secunia Says\n\n1st Microsoft IE 7 Security Flaw Reported\n\nMozilla Firefox 2.0 Hits the WebThis article is posted on our Microsoft Informer page.\u00a0For more news on the Redmond, Wash.-based powerhouse, keep checking in.Check out our CIO News Alerts and Tech Informer pages for more updated news coverage.