It's official. Microsoft is going to let PC users turn its browser off in Windows 7 to keep the European Commission at bay.
The EC's latest indictment of Microsoft accuses it of the antitrust sin of tying Internet Explorer to the Windows operating system, a charge brought by Opera and piled on lately by Google and the Mozilla Foundation. Of course, you can already turn off IE and use another browser with Windows but that appears to be beside the point.
Anyway, according to the Engineering Windows 7 blog, the next version of Windows will extend the "Windows Features" control panel - which is activated by clicking on "Turn Windows Features on or off" or just typing "Windows features" in the start menu and up will pop a menu longer than in Vista where you can turn off - but not eradicate - IE 8, Windows Search, the Windows Media Player (the original EC bugbear), Windows Media Center and Windows DVD Maker among other things
Microsoft says, "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."
However, it still intends to "support the APIs available for features where these APIs are necessary to the functionality of Windows or where there are APIs that are used by developers that can be viewed as independent of the component. As many of you know these are often referred to as ‘dependencies' and with Windows the dependencies can run both internal to Windows and external for ISVs." The dependencies are a function of Microsoft's code reuse.
About Maureen O'Gara Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara
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