IE8 removal option in Windows 7

Microsoft have revealed information about the ability to turn off certain applications, most notably Internet Explorer 8, in Windows 7 rollouts.

A posting on the Windows 7 blog confirmed that IE8 and Windows Media Player were among the applications that had made a list of features that users will be able to confiscate from view.

"Turning Windows features on or off has a long history in Windows, going back to the earliest days of the 32-bit code base. We've received a bundle of suggestions about features that you would like to turn on or off using your own criteria for choice. For Windows 7 we've engineered a more significant list of features, and worked to balance that list in light of the needs of the broad Windows platform as well," the blog post explained.

"We want to provide choice while also making sure we do not compromise on compatibility by removing APIs provided for developers. We also want to strike the right balance for consumers in providing choice and balancing compatibility with applications, and providing a consistent Windows experience."

The list has been extended since rumours about the option to remove Internet Explorer hit the internet last week, and screen grabs on the blog show a list including Windows Media Player, Media Center, DVD Maker, Search, Fax and Scan, and a number of other features such as the Virtual Print Driver.

However, applications selected from the list become hidden, rather than actually uninstalled. Microsoft said that this was necessary because removing one element of the operating system could create conflicts with other applications, possibly affecting their ability to function.

Comments posted in reply to the removal feature have been mixed. One reader wrote: "What I'd really like to see is Group Policy management of enabling/disabling these features. That would be so much more convenient than having to script the addition/removal of features on a large network."

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