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?