A man who downloaded the beta of Windows 7 and has gone through it with a fine toothcomb has found something very intriguing. It seems that in the Windows Features dialog box, a number of applications and software functions can be switched off. Among those is the browser Internet Explorer 8, and apparently Media Player can also be disabled.
“I couldn’t believe this when I saw it, but it’s true,” Chris Holmes wrote in his blog. “Internet Explorer 8 is fully removable in Windows 7 build 7048. I believe this fully squashes the case that the EU has against Microsoft?”
He might well be right. Microsoft has been fined – twice – for having IE tied so closely to the Windows operating system, and been ordered to alter things, which they seem to have done.
However, disabling IE isn’t an easy process. The AeroXperience blog, aimed at Windows developers, notes:
“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).”