Microsoft will start to offer Windows users the chance to download IE8 via the automatic update service in the next couple of days.

Although users who have already dabbled in the beta version of the internet browser have been alerted if they haven't upgraded to the full version, Microsoft has said users still "running IE6 or IE7 on Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003, or Windows Server 2008 will get a notification through Automatic Update about IE8".

However, people worried about an automatic install on machines of the new browser shouldn't be. Users must still "opt-in to install IE8", says Microsoft.

"Users will see a Welcome screen that offers choices: Ask later, install now, or don’t install," said Eric Hebenstreit, lead program manager on the IE8 blog.

Users who decline the automatic update can still download it from Microsoft or from Windows Update as an optional update.

Microsoft released the official version of its new IE8 browser in March. The new browser, which sees virtually no change since the RC1 client, released earlier in the year, is available for all Windows Vista and XP users, however not for those who've downloaded the Windows 7 Beta.

The new browser promises a number of new features including a built in find bar to match Firefox and Safari as well as something Microsoft is calling "Accelerators" that allow you to request searches directly from elements within the page.