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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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RE: Dear Microsoft
By tcsenter on 10/9/2007 5:47:51 PM , Rating: 2
A lot of people would still pay for Windows even if they removed WGA. Admittedly more people would probably pirate it, but WGA never stopped determined pirates from using Windows XP and installing IE7 on it (it just required another patch first, apparently).
Microsoft doesn't give two hoots about the determined tech-savvy pirate and knows as well as anyone that it can't stop them. There is a certain point where it becomes an exercise in diminishing returns to bolster its anti-piracy technology at a cost that begins to outstrip the revenue lost to piracy.

Its the mainstream 'fire-and-forget' piracy by anyone who can turn-on a PC that Microsoft has always desired to stop (e.g. DOS and Win9x). Mission accomplished.

I'm savvy enough to pirate XP or Vista, but at some point the effort (cost) required to do so began to outweight any perceived benefit. And a miraculous thing also resulted, a sense of personal pride or satisfaction in no longer being a thief.

Granted, the latter came as much from the process of growing mentally beyond the juvenile gratification received from engaging in the 'forbidden' or 'naughty'. It's just as true that my personality has changed in that I no longer need to create a 'boogeyman' to tear down in order to feel powerful in my own personal or professional life.

Sadly, it seems this thing called adulthood doesn't seem to be an inevitable destination for everyone.

"I want people to see my movies in the best formats possible. For [Paramount] to deny people who have Blu-ray sucks!" -- Movie Director Michael Bay
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