Windows 7 May Allow Disabling of Internet Explorer

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.

( (Image credit:

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.

  • Tedders
    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.
  • 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.
  • hellwig
    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.
  • jsloan
    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.
  • roholidays1
    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....:)
  • skittle
    I still need to IE to access Target's team member services on
    Asshats at corporate still have not made it compatible with other browser's.
  • Dax corrin
    skittleI still need to IE to access Target's team member services on Asshats at corporate still have not made it compatible with other browser's.There's no apostrophe in "browsers"
  • michaelahess
    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.
  • SamanuelMC
    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!).
  • captaincharisma
    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