Microsoft’s latest test build of Windows 7 comes loaded with an option to delete Internet Explorer 8's executable file - making it unusable on the OS.
The company has added its IE8 web browser as a component that can be toggled on and off via the operating system’s “Windows Features” dialog box.
According to testers, who are currently playing with build 7048 of Windows 7, IE8 is a new addition to the control panel’s list of customisable options.
However, the feature does not uninstall the browser in the latest build. Instead it simply deletes the "iexplore.exe" file. All other components of IE8 remain intact on the OS.
According to AeroXperience removal of the browser's executable file takes two reboots and a config step to complete the process.
Many are speculating that Microsoft has added the IE8 “turn off” feature to the upcoming Windows 7 in an effort to satisfy Brussels’ anti-trust regulators.
In January the executive body of the European Union issued preliminary findings in which it said MS had violated European competition law by including Internet Explorer with Windows.
However, Microsoft, which is becoming increasingly good at writing long-winded blog posts about Windows 7 that are bereft of detail, is remaining characteristically tight-lipped about IE8’s inclusion on the Windows Features list. ®