Microsoft released an updated version of the Internet Explorer 7, which does not include the Windows Genuine Advantage feature, originaly designed to prevent the browser from running on pirated Windows.
The new update is available for download at IE's website
. Since the first official release of IE7, Windows Genuine Advantage had been used as an anti-piracy security feature, which required Windows owners to validate their Windows installation before allowing them to download the browser.
"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. 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," said Steve Reynolds, Program Manager at Microsoft.
The latest version of the IE7 for Windows XP and Windows 2003 also offers minor changes including:
- The menu bar is now visible by default.
- The Internet Explorer 7 online tour has updated how-to?s. Also, the "first-run" experience includes a new overview.
- A new MSI installer has been included that simplifies deployment for IT administrators in enterprises.
Since its introduction, Microsoft's WGA had been criticized by some industry analysts for not helping protect all Windows users. The security feature has reportedly caused millions of Windows users to unintentionally and incorrectly be reported to Microsoft as software pirates.
IE7 for Windows XP was released almost a year ago. The browser has a built-in Phishing Filter and has native support for Extended Validation SSL Certificates. Tabbed browsing, QuickTabs, shrink-to-fit printing, customizable search box and CSS improvements are also featured in IE7.