Hallelujah: Microsoft confirms IE8, WMP, others can be removed from Windows 7

image_thumbCelebrate! It’s VW day — Victory in Windows, March 6th! The eternal oppressor Internet Explorer and its lieutenants, who have occupied our operating systems for so long, are at long last to be removed. The net was abuzz about it yesterday, and now Microsoft has confirmed, via its Engineering Windows 7 blog, that IE8 among other significant features will be user-removable. Huzzah!

A “Windows Features” dialog box (pictured right, click to grow) will allow users to remove programs they don’t want, although the programs themselves are more buried than actually removed. I guess Microsoft heard the million cries of annoyance when users had to put in their install disc just to get some service installed: now everything will be installed initially (simplifies the process) and then unwanted components will be “removed,” but ready for reinstallation in a heartbeat.

The “big ones” you can remove are:

  • Windows Media Player
  • Windows Media Center
  • Windows DVD Maker
  • Internet Explorer 8
  • Windows Search

There are lots of other services, games, and so on as you can see in the big list (right), but I think we’re all thankful that Microsoft has made these main five programs totally optional. It should be noted that any dependencies or shared services will not be affected by removal, so you won’t have to worry about DVDs not working in other programs because you removed the Windows version, or the like. Its explained in more detail here.