Don’t like Internet Explorer? Well, it looks like Windows 7 will actually let you remove it—and not just close off access to it like in prior Windows releases. ComputerWorld cites a couple of blogs that show how, in the latest non-public Windows 7 build, users can eliminate IE8 for good.
According to AeroXperience, removing the browser involves heading to the Windows Features control panel, and it actually scraps the iexplore.exe executable. The blog elaborates:
For now, this only seems to wipe the actual executable running Internet Explorer 8 (iexplore.exe), but given that many of the most vocal proponents of choice were just looking for an option to functionally remove IE8, this might’ve been the only way to do it without killing the rest of Windows. In addition, this actually takes two reboots and a configuration step to complete, so there’s definitely something going on behind the scenes (likely a remapping of where IE-related functions can be found for other elements in Windows so that Windows doesn’t complain about IE’s nonexistence).
As ComputerWorld points out in a separate article, Microsoft has recently come under fire from the European Commission because of its browser bundling tactics. Word in January was that the Commission could order Microsoft and PC vendors to let users choose a browser when setting up a new computer.