Microsoft Sees Light (At Last)

 
 
By Timothy Dyck  |  Posted 2001-07-23 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Microsoft, in a fine bit of political posturing, announced earlier this month that it will reverse its policy on letting users and computer manufacturers disable access to its Internet Explorer browser using the standard Add/ Remove Programs icon in the C

Microsoft, in a fine bit of political posturing, announced earlier this month that it will reverse its policy on letting users and computer manufacturers disable access to its Internet Explorer browser using the standard Add/ Remove Programs icon in the Control Panel.

The company is also changing its OEM licensing agreements to allow manufacturers to change the desktop or Start Menu as they see fit, something Microsoft has prohibited in the past.

In a release that conceded nothing except to acknowledge the ruling of the District of Columbia Circuit appeals court, Microsoft reversed positions it has long held as sacrosanct: that IE is an integral part of Windows and cannot be interfered with or the entire system might become nonfunctional and that only Microsoft can determine what users can first see and can easily find when they run Windows.

Many people, including analysts at eWeek Labs, publicly demonstrated more than a year ago how simple it is to remove or safely disable IE components from Windows, so its no surprise to me that Microsoft is realizing this now.

As with other Microsoft concessions over the years, this one is mostly empty. The battle for the browser is over: IE won. Streaming media, messaging and portal access are the new battlefronts, and Microsoft was notably silent on these issues.

 
 
 
 
Timothy Dyck is a Senior Analyst with eWEEK Labs. He has been testing and reviewing application server, database and middleware products and technologies for eWEEK since 1996. Prior to joining eWEEK, he worked at the LAN and WAN network operations center for a large telecommunications firm, in operating systems and development tools technical marketing for a large software company and in the IT department at a government agency. He has an honors bachelors degree of mathematics in computer science from the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, and a masters of arts degree in journalism from the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario, Canada.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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