Microsoft makes IE8 optional in Windows 7

By on March 4, 2009, 9:49 AM
In the face of possible regulatory action in Europe, Microsoft is looking to avoid sanctions and silence all complaints from rivals by giving users the option to remove Internet Explorer 8 from Windows 7 altogether. The feature is currently being tested in the latest pre-release build of the operating system, version 7048, which recently made its way into torrent sites.


What exactly this means remains to be seen. Such functionality might only find its way into versions of Windows 7 that are sold in Europe, for example, or Microsoft could simply be testing it in order to make sure it is ready in the future to counteract any antitrust ruling against the company. Even better, Microsoft could make the feature available to all regions from the get-go.

There is no word yet if the removal of Internet Explorer in Windows 7 affects any other areas of the operating system, but regardless of the technical aspects of this change, it seems like a smart move all around: users would gain more control over their installed apps while Microsoft fends off costly legal battles in Europe.




User Comments: 10

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Misch868 said:
Are they going after Apple for bundling Safari on Leopard? Maybe Microsoft should counter sue cuz you can only use Opera web browser on the Wii. How would you go about getting a different web browser if you didn't have one to begin with? I never use internet explorer but it's nice having it in case firefox is acting up. Opera is just going after Microsoft because they are at the bottom of the totem pole and they are hating on whoever gets to sit on top. Windows is the only operating system you can go out and buy and put on any computer without having any real computer experience. Windows-based computers are also very affordable (so are linux netbooks, etc, but no one knows how to use them). Opera needs to deal with competition. Not everyone gets to win.
nazartp said:
They won't go after Apple right now. One of the prerequisites for a company to be sued under Sherman Act in the US is that they can influence prices in the market. Apple's market share is not big enough to do that. Until they become significant in the market, they are safe. I am waiting for them to get sued for bundling iTunes with other crap.Regarding IE, I presume it still will come pre-installed, but will be completely removable.
DarkCobra said:
Good points all so far. I have another observation as well. In regards to Anti-Trust issues, Sherman Act issues (etc.), I have always been puzzled by the fact that "NONE" of the rival browsers are items you purchase! They are all FREE! I'm a Firefox user myself with Vista. I really don't understand the other browsers gripes with MS providing IE with their systems because they aren't losing a dime because they aren't collecting any dimes from the sale of their browsers. If I sell flowers and include some candy with every sale and that flower/candy combo becomes super popular, I can understand other candy makers being upset because their candy "SALES" are being hurt by my bundling candy with my flowers. However, if they're not selling candy but just giving candy away for free (as their browsers are) . . . how am I hurting them?The EU clearly has won here and MS has caved to the European pressure. I have to wonder what else is going to be forcibly stripped from future systems because the EU just doesn't like the fact that it's there. These are the same people who wanted us on the metric system too and are still pissed that we're not! Personally, I don't mind getting a full system and swapping out what I don't want myself. But I think it's dangerous for the EU to be controlling what the rest of the world gets. Let's see where this goes next.
JDoors said:
"... [removeable IE] seems like a smart move all around: users would gain more control over their installed apps while Microsoft fends off costly legal battles in Europe."The only thing that will fend off this type of legal battle would be a loss of market share to below 50% (dropping them off the "biggest-pockets" radar), with someone else increasing their share to over 50% (to become the new target of ruinous envy and hate).That may take quite some time and until then, we all wind up paying for the lawyers -- on both sides!
nazartp said:
[b]Originally posted by JDoors:[/b][quote]"... [removeable IE] seems like a smart move all around: users would gain more control over their installed apps while Microsoft fends off costly legal battles in Europe."The only thing that will fend off this type of legal battle would be a loss of market share to below 50% (dropping them off the "biggest-pockets" radar), with someone else increasing their share to over 50% (to become the new target of ruinous envy and hate).That may take quite some time and until then, we all wind up paying for the lawyers -- on both sides![/quote]Unfortunately, absolutely true. I don't understand that particular case at all. IE is free with the system. On top of that, it is a necessary component to activate and update the system. Past that - who cares, all browsers are free. Netscape dug it's own grave when it started to charge $50 for a copy. Old case about IE was built around the fact that once having a browser with the system the customers would not want to pay for another browser, or if it was free, would not want to switch. Right now the pressure should be on the other developers to educate the customers and provide better alternatives. Otherwise all those benefits come out of consumers' pockets either through taxes or through prices of software.
PanicX said:
@DarkCobraThe Mozilla Foundation is a non-profit organization that try's to "ensure that the Internet is developed in a way that benefits everyone." They believe the most effective way to do this is to propagate a standards complaint browser so that developers can focus on open web standards instead of proprietary limitations. So it makes sense that they would strive to make IE which isn't open standards compliant, to take a hike and promote FireFox which is. Using your analogy, it's like most flowers are coming with candy that doesn't contain an ingredients list (allergies?) and is wrapped in environmentally toxic plastic. Because of this you make a shop that produces candy that has a full ingredients list and even a cooking recipe plus you use biodegradable wrappers. So if you're concerned about the environment, you'd want everyone to use your products to reduce toxic waste, and if you can't get the flowers to come with your candy, coming without toxic wrappers is still better. Also, since you're a non-profit organization, you survive off of donations, which only come from those that know and support your cause. So obviously, the more exposure the better.(Well, thats the best I can come up with using this analogy)Not to mention that Firefox is free open source software which is reason alone to dump IE.
DarkCobra said:
@PanicXLOL . . . ah, ok. Let's dump any and all software that's not open source, and with what's left we will be able to hear and see little more than tumble weeds blowing through the wasteland that remains. Oh by the way . . . the MS and Apple OS's themselves, along with over 90% of the worlds software, are NOT open source so I suppose we should dump them as well if we're going to be consistent with such leaps of convoluted logic. This leaves us with Linux, Firefox and an assortment of some other software and little else.When you awake from this dream of yours you will find yourself in the real world as things really exist. Open source programs and concepts are great and I support them. However, ridiculous assertions that because software isn't open source is justification alone to dump them (as you just stated) . . . doesn't even pass the laugh test.
PanicX said:
[b]Originally posted by DarkCobra:[/b][quote]@PanicXLOL . . . ah, ok. Let's dump any and all software that's not open source, and with what's left we will be able to hear and see little more than tumble weeds blowing through the wasteland that remains. Oh by the way . . . the MS and Apple OS's themselves, along with over 90% of the worlds software, are NOT open source so I suppose we should dump them as well if we're going to be consistent with such leaps of convoluted logic. This leaves us with Linux, Firefox and an assortment of some other software and little else.When you awake from this dream of yours you will find yourself in the real world as things really exist. Open source programs and concepts are great and I support them. However, ridiculous assertions that because software isn't open source is justification alone to dump them (as you just stated) . . . doesn't even pass the laugh test.[/quote]Whoa.. seriously DarkCobra?I took a little time to help answer a question you pose and thats how you respond, with a personal attack?Thanks for the tidbits about MS and Apple. I'm sure this was an unknown fact until you mentioned it. Hey, did you know that Apple based its OS on BSD which is open source software? You can read more about it here[url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mac_OS_X[/url]Interest
ng figures you have about the market penetration of open source software. Where did you get that exactly?Why do you assume that Linux and Firefox are 2 out of a small assortment of software that's open source? Sourceforge.net alone has over 300,000 open source software projects. I don't know what size of assortments you deal with, but that's a huge repository if you ask me. Guess maybe its just my convoluted logic again.I don't think that supporting OSS is a laughing matter. I do think you should use the best tool for the job. In some cases closed source software fits the bill. But if your using closed source, you should be looking for the OSS solution to replace it. And when it comes to web browsers, well there's a slew of options that will work and perform better than IE.
nazartp said:
[b]Originally posted by PanicX:[/b][quote]I don't think that supporting OSS is a laughing matter. I do think you should use the best tool for the job. In some cases closed source software fits the bill. But if your using closed source, you should be looking for the OSS solution to replace it. And when it comes to web browsers, well there's a slew of options that will work and perform better than IE.[/quote]I think we deviated from the original argument - suing MS over non-removable IE does nothing to improve the well-being of average consumer, unfortunately. If anything it cuts into the taxpayers dollars and extra expenses incurred by participating parties are passed through prices, to certain extent, to the same consumers. No one on this board contests the statement that Mozilla is better than IE.
DarkCobra said:
WoW . . . slow down. No personal attacks launched at all. I simply took issue with the logic you expressed on an "issue" which seems convoluted. There's no personal attack on YOU just a position you took on an issue. You clearly stated that software that is NOT open sourced is in an of itself alone . . . good reason to dump it! That's what you said. It's convoluted because the OS itself is commercial and NOT open sourced yet you oddly omitted advocating the dumping of it! You gotta be consistent that's all my point was. Frankly, there has to be room for the fair existence of BOTH commercial software and open source freeware. I'll tell you what needs to be "dumped" . . . BAD SOFTWARE of any variety! Be it commercial or open source, if it's good software it is indeed valid and earns a place in the marketplace. if it's bad it deserves to be dumped . . . but not dumped simply because it's commercial software. By the way 300k+ open source programs is a drop in the bucket compared to the untold millions of commercial programs in existence.As I also stated, I too encourage and appreciate open source software. We all do! Freeware is appreciated and having the code available to tinker with is great thing. However, advocating that commercial software (which indeed is the vast majority of software in existence) should be "dumped" because it's NOT open source is absurd! Companies and code writers work very hard to deliver us commercial programs and they deserve to be paid for their efforts. They don't deserve to be maligned and have others tout that their work should be "dumped". We don't live in a world where everything should be free. That's just not reality.If you develop a good program and worked hard on it, you deserve to be paid fairly and you deserve to have the right to protect your code from those who would steal it from you. I'm sure most will agree and I hope you do as well. Peace.
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