According to Microsoft, users will be able to turn off more than just Internet Explorer 8 in Windows 7.
According to a Microsoft blog posting, in the final version of Windows 7, users will be able to turn off Windows Media Player, Windows Media Center, Windows Search, the XPS Viewer and several other features.
"If a feature is deselected, it is not available for use," Microsoft stated in the blog. "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. This staging is important feedback we have received from customers who definitely do not like to dig up the installation DVD."
Microsoft declined to comment on what role, if any, antitrust and regulatory issues have played in the decision to expand the number of Windows components that can be disabled. However, a number of the programs on the list, such as the browser and media player, have drawn regulatory ire, as well as the XPS technology, which has been seen as a rival to Adobe's PDF.
With Windows 7, Microsoft has also stripped several programs out of the operating system entirely. The photo gallery, email and movie-making programs that had been part of Windows will now be available only as separate Windows Live downloads.