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Windows 7 May Allow Disabling of Internet Explorer

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 23 comments

The Windows 7 news just keeps rolling on in. We’ve been hearing snippets about what Microsoft will be offering users with its new operating system for months. It seems there’s no end to the bells and whistles on Windows 7 but today’s news is a little more interesting.

According to Cnet, Windows 7 could allow users to disable Internet Explorer 8. Ina Fried reports (citing Chris Holmes) that build 7048 of Windows 7 includes Internet Explorer as one of many Windows components that can be turned on or off via a "Windows Features" dialog box. She goes on to clarify that while the control panel exists in the public beta version of Windows 7, but IE8 is not listed among the features that can be turned on and off.(Credit: Chris123nt.com)(Credit: Chris123nt.com)

Fried reports that Microsoft had no comment as to why it has decided to allow users the option to disable the company’s proprietry browser, however, logical thinking leads us to believe that the truth likely lies somewhere in the ongoing legal proceedings between the Redmond company and European Union. The EU recently raised antitrust concerns over the fact that Microsoft bundles IE with Windows as opposed to offering users the choice.

For more on the Microsoft/EU antitrust case, click here. For the full scoop on the possibility of being able to disable IE8, click here.

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  • 11 Hide
    Anonymous , March 5, 2009 5:02 PM
    Meh. I don't really consider this to be all that big of a deal. As it stands, once I got Firefox installed and set it as the default browser, I never had any problems with IE. I keep it in the quick launch tray in the event I encounter a webpage that doesn't like Firefox, but other than that, it never starts up.
Other Comments
  • 1 Hide
    Tedders , March 5, 2009 5:00 PM
    This would be great, because we don't want to use IE here at work at all. This will finally allow us to block it all together if this is true.
  • 11 Hide
    Anonymous , March 5, 2009 5:02 PM
    Meh. I don't really consider this to be all that big of a deal. As it stands, once I got Firefox installed and set it as the default browser, I never had any problems with IE. I keep it in the quick launch tray in the event I encounter a webpage that doesn't like Firefox, but other than that, it never starts up.
  • -2 Hide
    hellwig , March 5, 2009 5:18 PM
    Hell must have frozen over, or Steve Ballmer died and Microsoft covered it up. Even if the EU forces MS to un-bundle IE, MS would surely just make a European version, and keep IE bundled in their other markets.

    In the end, this will probably just turn out to be a mistake on Microsoft's part, but it may cost them big in their battle with the EU. Otherwise, maybe Microsoft is starting to see competition as more than choking-off your competitors.
  • 6 Hide
    jsloan , March 5, 2009 5:18 PM
    a lot of 3rd party products rely on ie being around, the browser object is basically a component like a text box that developers have access to. I've used it in windows applications. If it were not around then the application will not run, could not run! EU should not be interfering with things they don't know much about. Microsoft has in the past allowed IE to be uninstalled, but basically they left IE around, just removed shortcut to it or removed the IE application part of it, but because of what I pointed out has had to leave the browser object which is where all the functionality is.
  • 2 Hide
    roholidays1 , March 5, 2009 5:36 PM
    Many guys speak here without knowing that, jsloan, they think IE is just a browser. Indeed IE is more then a simple browser. To have it on your computer is the decision of the software maker. if you don't like it don;t buy it..Ah...but most of you don't buy it at all...Most of the gents here are stealing it...And then complain....:) 
  • 0 Hide
    skittle , March 5, 2009 5:51 PM
    I still need to IE to access Target's team member services on Target.com
    Asshats at corporate still have not made it compatible with other browser's.
  • -5 Hide
    Dax corrin , March 5, 2009 6:19 PM
    skittleI still need to IE to access Target's team member services on Target.com Asshats at corporate still have not made it compatible with other browser's.

    There's no apostrophe in "browsers"
  • 0 Hide
    michaelahess , March 5, 2009 6:41 PM
    Course you can already "remove" IE from XP, it just gets rid of the checkmark by it and the icons in the startmenu, quick launch, and desktop.
  • 1 Hide
    SamanuelMC , March 5, 2009 6:49 PM
    Awesome they give us the option of removing a program that most people reading Tom's already don't use. Of course this could cause issues with people/companies who design websites to only run on IE(Why they would be in the first place IDK!).
  • 0 Hide
    captaincharisma , March 5, 2009 7:08 PM
    yea just removes the icon. unchecking the box will delete the shortcuts but will still be installed. IE is too integrated into windows shell to be removed
  • 0 Hide
    cryogenic , March 5, 2009 7:31 PM
    Too late, if we could disable IE6 that would have been great, but IE8 has some useful features that kinda makes you want to keep it, like protected mode, and the dev tools.
  • 0 Hide
    voidrunner , March 5, 2009 9:29 PM
    CryogenicToo late, if we could disable IE6 that would have been great, but IE8 has some useful features that kinda makes you want to keep it, like protected mode, and the dev tools.


    Have you tried FireBug extension for Firefox? its better than MS' dev toolbar
  • 1 Hide
    voidrunner , March 5, 2009 9:37 PM
    jsloana lot of 3rd party products rely on ie being around, the browser object is basically a component like a text box that developers have access to. I've used it in windows applications. If it were not around then the application will not run, could not run! EU should not be interfering with things they don't know much about.

    If you look at multi-platform applications, it's possible to have the HTML text component in your application without being tied to IE. Now you can say that developers might not want to go the extra mile to do things properly, but that's their fault/problem. with the rise of virtualization and emulation, it's time to stop thinking that everyone uses the same OS, apps, etc.
  • 1 Hide
    gm0n3y , March 5, 2009 10:17 PM
    voidrunnerHave you tried FireBug extension for Firefox? its better than MS' dev toolbar


    Firebug + Web Developer tools bars are really indispensable for a web dev.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , March 5, 2009 10:56 PM
    I think it makes little difference.
    You could use FF by default when opening webpages. The only issue is mailto: links which pop up hotmail in iexpore.

    I currently disable ie totally on my XP.
    My firewall also makes sure IE will not be remotely contacted. So the only con is that ie7 takes a few MB in diskspace.

    I think suing MS for using IE in windows is a bunch of crap! I don't like MS, but it's the same if a car-exhaust company will start suing ford for selling their cars with exhausts from their own manufacture line (or from one outsource company only).

    If people want to mod it, they can always look and purchase/use other alternatives.
    Either way, it's a bit silly, but perhaps a good thing for those who prefer using another browser. It could save them a few MB's in diskspace!
  • 0 Hide
    Humans think , March 5, 2009 11:43 PM
    @hellwig it is still bundled but thank god you can uninstall it.

    @michaelahess captaincharisma is right, I can confirm.

    At last MS is starting to hear its customers, I hope that web site developers now start using standard internet protocols that work with all browsers.

    I think I am starting to like MS for the first time after the Vista fiasco
  • 0 Hide
    killerb255 , March 6, 2009 12:06 AM
    One thing I would like to see in Firefox are some Group Policy ADM templates for it. Centralized administation of IE is fairly easy with Group Policy, whereas Firefox has nothing official (I think there were some old ADM templates for Firefox...1.5?).
  • 0 Hide
    zodiacfml , March 6, 2009 6:30 AM
    still want that option whether i use IE or not.
    what interests me is control of features.
    win7 is based from vista, yet, with this control, i'm sure it will be a faster OS.
    i have experienced better performance on vista using amd's fusion software.
  • 1 Hide
    neiroatopelcc , March 6, 2009 6:39 AM
    Suppose it's a nice thing to have internet explorer as optional. But I'm almost 100% certain it'll stay installed in any system at my place of work. Well except perhaps for on the computer used by our open source fanatic.
  • 0 Hide
    cryogenic , March 6, 2009 7:21 AM
    voidrunnerHave you tried FireBug extension for Firefox? its better than MS' dev toolbar

    Yes I have, FireBug and Greasemonkey are the addons I never miss, but you know, sites that have issues with IE are kinda hard to debug in FF ...
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