Nothing says “imminent release of a new version of Internet Explorer” quite like the release of the blocking tool that will help businesses prevent this release from happening on managed PCs. So today’s release of an Internet Explorer 10 blocking tool for Windows 7 suggests that the final release of IE 10 for Windows 7 is just around the corner.

Officially, the blocking tool is called the Toolkit to Disable Automatic Delivery of Internet Explorer 10. You can download this utility from the Microsoft web site.

“The Internet Explorer 10 Blocker Toolkit enables users to disable automatic delivery of Internet Explorer 10 as an important class update via Automatic Updates (AU) feature of Windows Update (WU),” the site notes. “Microsoft will distribute Windows Internet Explorer 10 as an important update through Automatic Updates for Windows 7 SP1 and higher for x64 and x86 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 and higher for x64. This Blocker Toolkit is made available to those who would like to block automatic delivery of Internet Explorer 10 to machines in environments where Automatic Updates is enabled. The Blocker Toolkit will not expire.”

Microsoft provides the following notes about the blocking tool:

  • For computers running Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2, the Blocker Toolkit prevents the machine from receiving Internet Explorer 10 via Automatic Updates on the Windows Update and Microsoft Update sites.
  • The Blocker Toolkit will not prevent users from manually installing Internet Explorer 10 from the Microsoft Download Center, or from external media.
  • Organizations do not need to deploy the Blocker Toolkit in environments managed with an update management solution such as Windows Server Update Services or Systems Management Server 2003. Organizations can use those products to fully manage deployment of updates released through Windows Update and Microsoft Update, including Internet Explorer 10, within their environment.
  • Even if you used the Blocker Toolkit to block Internet Explorer 8 or Internet Explorer 9 from being installed as a high-priority or important update, you will still need to use the Internet Explorer 10 version of the Blocker Toolkit to block Internet Explorer 10 from being installed. There are different registry keys used to block or unblock automatic delivery of Internet Explorer 8, Internet Explorer 9 and Internet Explorer 10.