Microsoft Internet Explorer Upgrade Coming to OIT

by Mark Kemmerle

On Wednesday, August 10, 2011 at 12:00 Noon, OIT Client Technology Services will begin automatically upgrading the Microsoft Internet Explorer browser on computers at OIT to Internet Explorer Version 8 (IE8).  

The initial group will be all those OIT employees who are members of the “bis-users” Active Directory organizational unit (OU) in the SOM domain.  This OU includes 303 accounts, including most of those at Edison Drive, the OIT staff at MDOL and at some other locations (but not the applications developers who have remained in the domains with their clients at MDOT, DPS, and DHHS).   Contractors who work for OIT are also in their own organizational unit and will not be receiving the new browser.   If I have understood everything correctly and done everything correctly, however, only the members of those organizational units will be receiving this email.  If you’re getting this email, you’ll be scheduled to receive the new browser next week.

IE8 is much more secure than its predecessors, and OIT has modified some settings used on earlier versions to make IE8 even more secure.  The browser is a very common target for malicious software, and malware is responsible for a lot of trouble calls and lost productivity.  Last year, the Help Desk received approximately 2,000 calls from users affected by malicious software, each of which required significant effort to repair and caused the user to be unable to work.

You will notice only small changes in the appearance of your browser.  One significant change will be the “tabs” on the command bar.  With IE8, you can now have several web pages open in one browser session, moving between them by clicking the tabs.  Your “Favorites” should be unchanged.   Your default home page will be set at the Intranet page -   Any saved passwords to applications like TAMS, however, will be lost.  Otherwise, the new browser should be familiar in appearance and easy to understand and use.

The change to IE8 has been preceded by lots of testing to ensure that the applications you use are compatible with IE8.  We do not expect that you will have errors or problems after the upgrade.  If you do, please contact the OIT Customer Support help desk at 624-7700. 

OIT Client Technologies staff will be on site the day of the upgrade to assist anyone with problems.

SPECIAL NOTE:  You must connect to the network via a network wire for IE8 to be pushed to your computer.   If you work remotely, please plan to visit your agency’s office sometime within two weeks of the upgrade date above to be sure you get the proper version.

You do not need to do anything to prepare for the upgrade.  If you normally connect to the state network via a wired Ethernet connection, you will receive it automatically when you first reboot your computer (restart from power off) after noon on August 10th.  If you do not normally connect via a physical wire:

To receive the upgrade:
1)  Make sure the device is connected to the state network via a physical wire.
2)  Reboot the device (restart from a powered-off state) and log in.
3)  Bring up Internet Explorer.
4)  Check the blue title bar at the top of your Internet Explorer window to confirm that it reads “Windows Internet Explorer provided by IE8 Policy Ver. 5” (or a higher number).  If you do not see this message in the blue title bar after these steps, please call Customer Support at 624-7700.  (If you are now at an earlier version of IE8, you should be upgraded and the new message will appear in the title bar.)
5)  Once you have the new browser, you are all set to work!

If you have questions before the installation, please feel free to call Bob Corum at 624-8895.