If you are one of the estimated 45 million Americans still using version 6 of Microsoft's Internet Explorer Web browser, it may finally be time to update to Internet Explorer 8, thanks to a shove from Google.Last week, Google announced that its applications such as Google Docs would no longer support IE6 beginning March 1. (is a Microsoft-NBC Universal joint venture.) Google's announcement came just one week after Germany, Australia and France issued warnings to the public against using IE6.
Microsoft Security Bulletin MS10-002 was made available to all Windows users through the Windows Update feature.
But patching the 8 1/2 year old program will not solve all user problems because many Web sites have phased out support for IE6.
Facebook and You Tube phased out support prior to Google's announcement, and Microsoft itself will drop its support by 2014.
Rather than waiting for a prompt to upgrade, computer users can easily do it before they run into delays.
An easy upgrade The first step is to determine the browser and its version running on your computer. What Browser.org, a site created by Google for just this purpose.
The Web site will display the name of your browser and its current version number. Microsoft has made it easy for PC users to keep their systems up to date.By enabling Microsoft's Auto Update feature available in XP, Vista and Windows 7, users will never miss an important update.Here's how to update to IE8 and set your computer for automatic updates in the future: Click on the Windows start button in the lower left hand corner of the computer screen and then click on the Control Panel to open that window.Look for Windows Update and double click to open it.Before proceeding with any updates, select 'change settings' from the menu to the left of the box showing updates.Be sure 'Install updates automatically' is selected.