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Windows 7: You Can Disable Every Major Feature

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 49 comments
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According to an update on the Windows 7 Engineering site on MSDN, users will be allowed to disable almost every major feature that ships with the operating system--yes, including Internet Explorer 8.

Microsoft noted that due to all the anti-trust dealings, user feedback, and browser-OS integration controversies, it has decided to allow users to turn off almost everything, except the core OS itself. The post listed that a new feature, called Windows Features, will be available on the next major build of Windows 7, and will allow a number of things to be turned off. Some major applications among the long list of features that you can disable are:

- All Windows games
- Internet Explorer 8
- Indexing services
- .NET framework
- Windows DVD Maker
- Windows Media Player

Despite the tool, users will not be able to configure much of Windows 7 during the installation and setup process. Even though it received a great deal of feedback to allow options to be configured during setup, Microsoft felt that in order to reduce the complexity of getting Windows up and running, the disabling feature will only be available after installation is complete.

Despite this, features that are turned off, will not be accessible, but re-enabling them will also not require original installation disc.

According to the post:

"If a feature is deselected, it is not available for use.  This means the files (binaries and data) are not loaded by the operating system (for security-conscious customers) and not available to users on the computer. These same files are staged so that the features can easily be added back to the running OS without additional media. This staging is important feedback we have received from customers who definitely do not like to dig up the installation DVD."

We can't imagine turning off Minesweeper and Solitar--we reckon that these two Windows features are the most widely used. Which features would you turn off?

Discuss
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Top Comments
  • 21 Hide
    tayb , March 6, 2009 6:07 PM
    68vistacruiserI pulled windows 7 after seeing all my apps fail to run. Good luck selling this one, Microsoft.


    I think what you meant to say was, "I have never tried Windows 7 but I don't like Microsoft so I hope it fails."
  • 18 Hide
    cknobman , March 6, 2009 7:17 PM
    jeversonOk. So I guess it's a move in the right direction. But the point I think MS is missing out on is not only do we not want all that crap running... we don't want it eating up Gbs of space on our hard drives. Maybe Windows 8 will finally let you pick during install. One can always hope.On second thought... since MS loves to have 30 different SKUs... why not just a another one where it lets you pick what you want during install.



    LOL please you tool. "Eating up GBs of space on our hard drives"? Give me a break. If your hard drive is that small then you should seriously question your hardware or choice of OS to begin with. MS is smart by making the installation easy and quick and keeping files around so you dont have to have the installation disk when adding features you removed. People like you are not happy no matter what the situation is. Your goal in life it to b!tch and moan no matter what. Sad just sad.
  • 16 Hide
    customisbetter , March 6, 2009 5:57 PM
    68vistacruiserI pulled windows 7 after seeing all my apps fail to run. Good luck selling this one, Microsoft.


    I have no idea what you are using sir, but i am running 7 x64 as the main OS on two machines ans 32 on my macbook. all run everything fine, including Games.

    the only program i found that doesn't run is Daemon tools.
Other Comments
  • 8 Hide
    jacobdrj , March 6, 2009 4:24 PM
    Very cool. Good job MS...
  • -1 Hide
    hellwig , March 6, 2009 4:28 PM
    Can I turn off UAC?
  • 0 Hide
    waikano , March 6, 2009 4:37 PM
    1st UAC, next Security Notifier. Not the best move, but a great move for MS.
  • 6 Hide
    JTWrenn , March 6, 2009 4:40 PM
    You can turn of UAC in Vista so yes you can turn it off in Windows 7
  • 4 Hide
    Anonymous , March 6, 2009 4:55 PM
    "the disabling feature will only be available after installation is complete."
    What about OEM installations? Can for example DELL simply replace IE with Firefox or is this "only after installation" requirement there to insure something like that could not happen.
  • 7 Hide
    Hothr , March 6, 2009 4:55 PM
    Thank you for letting me turn off Media Player and Internet Explorer. I'll keep solitaire and minesweeper.
  • -4 Hide
    jeverson , March 6, 2009 5:12 PM
    Ok. So I guess it's a move in the right direction. But the point I think MS is missing out on is not only do we not want all that crap running... we don't want it eating up Gbs of space on our hard drives. Maybe Windows 8 will finally let you pick during install. One can always hope.


    On second thought... since MS loves to have 30 different SKUs... why not just a another one where it lets you pick what you want during install. :D 
  • 0 Hide
    AndrewMD , March 6, 2009 5:23 PM
    This is good to keep the EU out of its hair, but is it enough....

    I am still in the camp that Microsoft should sell Windows as a barebone OS with no additional components at the standard $199.99 price point.

    Then force customers to purchase add-on packs for all other features that were available in earlier releases of Windows.

    EXAMPLE:

    Internet/Media Pack (IE8, WMP, Games, etc)
    Security Pack (AntiVirus, Spyware, Firewall, etc)
    Home Entertainment Pack (Windows Media Center, etc)

    The features and list could go on and on...

    This should be put up or shut up time for the consumers to let them know that world governments are controling what you are able to have on your computer.

    Hell, just for S/G, Microsoft should make their own Linux Platform.
  • 5 Hide
    afrobacon , March 6, 2009 5:30 PM
    Barebones with aero would be nice. Everything else I prefer to go 3rd party :) 
  • 1 Hide
    mamw93 , March 6, 2009 5:32 PM
    Driver Signing in x64.
  • 4 Hide
    eddieroolz , March 6, 2009 5:55 PM
    I'll disable Windows DVD maker.
  • 16 Hide
    customisbetter , March 6, 2009 5:57 PM
    68vistacruiserI pulled windows 7 after seeing all my apps fail to run. Good luck selling this one, Microsoft.


    I have no idea what you are using sir, but i am running 7 x64 as the main OS on two machines ans 32 on my macbook. all run everything fine, including Games.

    the only program i found that doesn't run is Daemon tools.
  • 21 Hide
    tayb , March 6, 2009 6:07 PM
    68vistacruiserI pulled windows 7 after seeing all my apps fail to run. Good luck selling this one, Microsoft.


    I think what you meant to say was, "I have never tried Windows 7 but I don't like Microsoft so I hope it fails."
  • 1 Hide
    wikiwikiwhat , March 6, 2009 6:33 PM
    Windows 7 works awesome. I have the 7022 build and the only problem I've had is that IE8 locks up and requires a task manager shutdown. Really annoying...considering a absolutely hate firefox.
  • 18 Hide
    cknobman , March 6, 2009 7:17 PM
    jeversonOk. So I guess it's a move in the right direction. But the point I think MS is missing out on is not only do we not want all that crap running... we don't want it eating up Gbs of space on our hard drives. Maybe Windows 8 will finally let you pick during install. One can always hope.On second thought... since MS loves to have 30 different SKUs... why not just a another one where it lets you pick what you want during install.



    LOL please you tool. "Eating up GBs of space on our hard drives"? Give me a break. If your hard drive is that small then you should seriously question your hardware or choice of OS to begin with. MS is smart by making the installation easy and quick and keeping files around so you dont have to have the installation disk when adding features you removed. People like you are not happy no matter what the situation is. Your goal in life it to b!tch and moan no matter what. Sad just sad.
  • 5 Hide
    hop , March 6, 2009 7:50 PM
    cknobmanLOL please you tool. "Eating up GBs of space on our hard drives"? Give me a break. If your hard drive is that small then you should seriously question your hardware or choice of OS to begin with. MS is smart by making the installation easy and quick and keeping files around so you dont have to have the installation disk when adding features you removed. People like you are not happy no matter what the situation is. Your goal in life it to b!tch and moan no matter what. Sad just sad.


    Agree, with the age of terabyte hdd, giving 10 gig to the OS is not a big deal. Heck give 100 gig to the OS is not a big deal. :-)
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