Microsoft Supports Update Your Parents' Browser Day
Article by George Norman
On 24 Nov 2011
Today is Thanksgiving in the good old US of A, the day when everyone gives thanks and fills their bellies with lots and lots of food. This means that a lot of people went back home to celebrate Thanksgiving with their families and visit their parents. Thanksgiving is among the few occasions when you get to see your parents - at least it is in my case.

Since you’re home, what will you do tomorrow? Will you go shopping since it’s Black Friday? Sure, you could do that. But before you rush off in search of great deals, you may want to take the time to update your parents' browser. Tomorrow, Friday the 25th of November, is Update Your Parents’ Browser day.


The ones to come up with the idea of Update Your Parents’ Browser day are the good folks at The Atlantic. Redmond-based software giant Microsoft was more than glad to support this idea. If your parents are still on some old versions of Internet Explorer (IE for short), like IE6 or IE7, Microsoft advises you to upgrade to IE8 (if your parents are still on XP) or IE9 (if they’re on Vista or Windows 7).

The IE team has even come up with a list of 10 moments you could use to update your parents’ browser:
  • 10. When they’re manning the fire extinguisher dealing with the yearly deep-fried turkey accident.
  • 9. When they’re telling your cousins “when I was your age” stories.
  • 8. When they’re face down in the eggnog punch.
  • 7. When they’re fighting over the right way to carve a turkey.
  • 6. When your mom kicks you out of the kitchen for peeling potatoes “the wrong way.”
  • 5. When they’re sent to the grocery store at 2PM on Thanksgiving Day for extra cranberries.
  • 4. When they’re sitting at the Adult’s table (rally the other kids to help).
  • 3. When they’re standing in a Black Friday line.
  • 2. When they’re untangling Christmas lights.
  • 1. When they’re distracted by grilling you about when you’re going to get a real job, when you’re going to settle down, and when you’re going to give them grandchildren.

Microsoft assumes that your parents on IE, the browser that came loaded by default with Windows and advises you to update to IE8 or IE9 if your parents are on IE6 or IE7. Lifehacker has a different view on things, and I am completely behind it. If you notice that your parents are on IE6 or IE7, upgrade them to a modern browser that automatically updates itself, like Mozilla’s Firefox or Google’s Chrome. I know that’s what I did with my parents. I installed Firefox and set it as the default browser. The “parental units” as I like to call them had no problems adjusting to the change.

To make sure your parents don’t notice you switched their browser, Lifehacker suggests you change the browser’s shortcut icon, import all their bookmarks, and make the user interface look more like IE’s interface.

Getting back to Microsoft, Communications Manager with Microsoft Kristina Libby had three solid tips for you if you’re going to mess around with your parent’s browser: do not check their browsing history, do not look up auto-complete answers, and upload funny Facebook statuses in their open browsers.

Tags: Microsoft, Internet Explorer, Mozilla, Firefox, Google, Chrome
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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