Given IE's less than stellar track record with security, this is a good thing. Newer versions are better than older versions. Most new security flaws are now in plug-ins, not the browser itself. Other browsers already do auto-update, so MS was late to the game in rolling this out.
This is hardly a panacea, however, with pirated versions of Windows and corporate Windows installs that don't auto-update at all.
Many corporations wrote custom in-house software that depended on IE6's non-standard extensions, and many of these corporations can't move on to modern browser versions because they can't or won't rewrite their custom software.
You can't really give kudos to MS for doing this, since they're responsible for IE in the first place. You can't really hand out attaboys for someone helping to fix a disaster that they perpetrated in the first place. IE's bugs and incompatibilities have held back the web for a long, long time now, and it's been a security nightmare. Microsoft has addressed both of these issues with recent versions, however, so they get some credit for that.