Windows 7 may allow Internet Explorer removal

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Windows 7 may allow Internet Explorer removal

A feature spotted in beta versions of Windows 7 could be an indicator that Microsoft will allow users of the operating system to switch off Internet Explorer.

One of the features in build 7048 of Windows 7 includes a "Windows Features" dialog box, which allows certain applications and software functions to be switched off. One of those is Internet Explorer 8, and Media Player can also be disabled.

“I couldn’t believe this when I saw it, but it’s true,” said Windows enthusiast Chris Holmes, who spotted the feature.

“Internet Explorer 8 is fully removable in Windows 7 build 7048. I believe this fully squashes the case that the EU has against Microsoft?”

The Eu has fined Microsoft heavily for tying Internet Explorer closely into the Windows operating system. The company has also had to provide copies of the operating system for sale that don't include the browser.

However, while features can be turned off it is not an easy process.

“There is a catch: For now, this only seems to wipe the actual executable running Internet Explorer 8 (iexplore.exe), but given that many of the most vocal proponents of choice were just looking for an option to functionally remove IE8, this might’ve been the only way to do it without killing the rest of Windows,” said a posting on the AeroXperince blog, a site for Windows developers.

“In addition, this actually takes two reboots and a configuration step to complete, so there’s definitely something going on behind the scenes (likely a remapping of where IE-related functions can be found for other elements in Windows so that Windows doesn’t complain about IE’s nonexistence).”

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