New Windows

Microsoft is indirectly confirming Windows 7 Build 7048 from the Release Candidate branch by stating that Internet Explorer 8 can indeed be removed from the operating system. The software giant says that it's about giving users choice and control, when it comes down to functionality in Windows 7, designed to permit the switching off or on of default components shipping with the operating system. Moving from Beta Build 7000 to Release Candidate, the Turn Windows Features On or Off has evolved. As of Build 7048, Windows 7 features an extended list with additional components compared to older releases of Windows and to previous development milestones of Windows 7. “Windows Features” can be accessed via “Programs and Features” in Control Panel.

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.

At the same time, removing a feature is not synonymous with uninstalling it or deleting it from the platform. Fact is that the staging permits users to add the feature back at any time via the same dialog box, rather than having to turn to the installation media. “In Windows 7 we are expanding the number of features you have control over in this regard, giving customers more control, flexibility and choice in managing the features available in this version of Windows.

As of Windows 7 Build 7048, users will be able to turn off a variety of additional components compared to Vista. The RC of Windows 7 will permit the disabling of the following features: Windows Media Player, Windows Media Center, Windows DVD Maker, Internet Explorer 8, Windows Search, Handwriting Recognition (through the Tablet PC Components option), Windows Gadget Platform, Fax and Scan, and XPS Viewer and Services (including the Virtual Print Driver) in addition to what Vista allowed.

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