I was reading through the comments on Jeffrey Zeldman’s blog post about MSIE auto-updates and noticed that a fair number of people complained that the announcement by Microsoft means nothing in terms of getting users to upgrade. While they have a point that people and/or organizations can still decide to forego upgrading, I believe that announcements like this are more important from an education/informational standpoint than a technical one.
There is no guarantee that people will upgrade. But if you are a web professional in an organization, you can make your case for it. I believe it is up to you to bring up issues like upgrading from archaic browsers. As an expert in your field, you have the ability to collect information and present your it to decision makers. Announcements like Microsoft’s which are “straight from the horse’s mouth” give credibility to your recommendations.
It may be difficult for them to drop everything and upgrade (especially in a corporation with legacy systems) so they may still decide against upgrading at this time but at least you have made them aware that even MS is trying to get away from old versions of it’s browser. When they realize the direction in which their “go-to” web browser is going, hopefully it will get them thinking about what they need to do to make the switch.
Like I said, there is no guarantee. But every little step helps.