Windows 7 will make it easier for users to switch their web browser and media players
to non-Microsoft alternatives. The new operating system will allow users to switch off
Internet Explorer, Windows Media Player and Windows Media Center, and remove any traces of
the programs from their desktop.
Microsoft has added the programs to the list of Windows features that users can turn on or off,
following feedback from the beta test of Windows 7. This means that you’ll be able to run alternative
web browsers, such as Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome, and alternative media players,
such as RealPlayerand Apple QuickTime, more smoothly.
Windows Search has also been added to the list of selectable Windows features,
making it easier to use alternatives such as Google Desktop to find files saved onto your PC.
If a Windows feature is deselected, it is not available for use.
This means that its files are not loaded by the operating system and not available to
users on the computer. However, the programs remain installed on your PC so that they can
easily be added back to your operating system without having to reinstall them.
“This staging is important feedback we have received from customers who definitely do not
like to dig up the installation DVD,” said Microsoft in a blog post.
Previously, selectable features have included entertainment add-ons such as Windows Games,
and tools used by network administrators and enthusiasts, rather than ordinary consumers.