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A single check box deep in the guts of the next version of Windows is giving Microsoft watchers a peek at how the software maker plans to keep European antitrust regulators from marring a crucial software launch. Windows 7, the successor to the much-maligned Vista, isn't expected to reach consumers until next year, but more than a million people are already testing early versions. A pair of bloggers tinkering with settings stumbled upon one they hadn't seen before: The ability to "turn off" Microsoft's own Internet Explorer browser.
This feature has been around since AT LEAST Windows 95C as this is the earliest operating system i used where this could be done.
Further investigation on my current machines, indicates that you can do this on Windows 2000, Windows XP and Windows Vista installs as well.
Hate to break the bad news to you, but this has been around since the invention of Windows it self by the looks of it and isnt any thing new.