Windows XP users are unable to install Internet Explorer 9, and now it looks like Windows 7 RTM users won't be able to either, at least once the final version hits the 'Net. When Microsoft releases Internet Explorer 9, Windows 7 users will need to have Service Pack 1 before they can install it, according to the Internet Explorer 9 Beta FAQ for IT Professionals. Microsoft did confirm, however, that IT pros will be able to add IE9 to existing Windows 7 images in order to streamline the deployment process.
The decision is a curious one if we remember the company's insistence that IE9 is not dependent on any future releases of Windows. Microsoft has previously released new Windows versions with new versions of IE (IE6 came with Windows XP, IE7 came with Windows Vista, and IE8 came with Windows 7). Now it appears IE9 will require Windows 7 SP1.
This new tidbit explains why, earlier this week, Microsoft used the The Windows Blog to tell businesses not to wait for the final version of IE9, saying they should move to Windows 7 Enterprise and IE8 now. Microsoft is quite aware that businesses will find it much more of a hassle to deploy a whole service pack in order to install IE9, let alone move from Windows XP and IE6/IE7 straight to Windows 7 SP1 and IE9. In other words, Microsoft doesn't want to give organizations any excuse to avoid moving to Windows 7 and IE8.
The IE9 public beta, released last week, requires four hotfixes before it can be installed, but the browser's installer takes care of everything for the user. It's not clear whether Microsoft will have the final IE9 installer roll out SP1 to Windows 7 users, but given the company's history, the software will likely spit out an error message and fire up Windows Update for users to get SP1 themselves.
Microsoft has not given a release date for either Windows 7 SP1 or for IE9, though we now know the two will not be far apart. Testers got their first Windows 7 SP1 beta build three months ago, but the final version won't come until the first half of 2011.
Source: ars technica