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Microsoft makes its IE7 browser available to a wider audience

In a surprise move, Microsoft has issued a new build of Internet Explorer 7 (IE7) to customers that can be installed on any machine running Windows XP or Windows Server 2003 -- IE7 is already included in Windows Vista operating systems.

IE7 was previously reserved for customers using genuine copies of Windows-based operating systems and was protected by Microsoft's Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) validation software.

"Because Microsoft takes its commitment to help protect the entire Windows ecosystem seriously, we’re updating the IE7 installation experience to make it available as broadly as possible to all Windows users," remarked IE7 program manager Steve Reynolds on the IE Blog. "With today’s 'Installation and Availability Update,' Internet Explorer 7 installation will no longer require Windows Genuine Advantage validation and will be available to all Windows XP users."

Microsoft is likely using this move to makes IE7 available to the broadest range of customers worldwide. Mozilla's Firefox browser has gained a lot of traction recently, and this move would give Microsoft some additional ammunition.

In addition to the removal of WGA, the latest version of IE7 brings updates to the menu bar, online tour and a new MSI installer for IT administrators.

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By justinmcg67 on 10/6/2007 2:55:30 PM , Rating: 2
While I am an avid FireFox user, I did download IE7, because as of late I've been having some issues with some frequently visited web pages in Firefox, hopefully IE7 can fix this. It definitely won't be my Default Browser, but I will turn to it when problems arise in Firefox.

What I do like about this is how pirated copies of Windows can now use the software. That I find rather interesting. For as long as I can remember M$ has always in one way or another turned a blind eye to the pirated versions of Windows but this makes me lift a brow and say, "huh." Oh well, no complaints though, it's free for all now, and that I'm most certainly happy for.

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