Microsoft updated its Windows 7 Engineering blog Friday by discussing its decision to allow users to turn off features in Windows 7. It also released a list of Windows 7 options that can be turned off in the upcoming Release Candidate.
"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," Jack Mayo, Microsoft's group program manager for the Documents and Printing team, said in the post. "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."
To achieve that goal, Microsoft has released a screenshot showing what is ostensibly the complete list of features that users will be able to turn on and off in Windows 7. It includes games, an FTP server, Windows Search, and more. But the most important option (and the one that gets the most attention) is the ability to turn Internet Explorer 8 off.
Internet Explorer 8 cannot be uninstalled from Windows 7. According to Mayo, any feature that's turned off "will not be available for use, which means 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," he continued.
That's understandable and a welcome option. I will be turning some features off, like all of Microsoft's media services and a few extras like the FTP server and Tablet PC components, which I won't use any way, but Internet Explorer 8 is a different story altogether.
I'm sure some are excited to see they can finally kill Internet Explorer, but I'm not. I won't be using it, but I won't be turning it off either. Why should I?… Read more