Microsoft removes WGA check from IE7

Internet Explorer is no longer subject to a Windows Genuine Advantage check

Facing pressure from Firefox and Opera, Microsoft's Internet Explorer 7 has been wiped clean of one of its biggest causes of complaint - the additional Windows Genuine Advantage check.

When the Internet Explorer 7 Windows Genuine Advantage check first became known, it seemed a bit out of place considering Microsoft already had a Windows Genuine Advantage check for computers running Windows XP SP2.

The main purpose of the XP WGA check was to address piracy issues and allow users to update Windows - ostensibly having nothing to do with browsing the web.

Microsoft's 'Windows ecosystem' protection

And although the company didn't address this specific thought, Microsoft announced that it would be removing the WGA check because it "takes its commitment to help protect the entire Windows ecosystem seriously".

Perhaps the most notable component of this announcement is that it's the first time Microsoft has retracted Windows Genuine Advantage, effectively admitting that it was detrimental to the product's adoption.

Interestingly enough, the decision comes as Internet Explorer 7's market share appears to be floundering at roughly 20 per cent, even though it ships with each Windows Vista machine. And although Microsoft has historically focused on piracy control, it seems the company has decided that market share trumps pirates in an attempt to regain control over the browser market.

Besides the deletion of Windows Genuine Advantage checks, the IE7 update will display the menu bar by default, and the browser's new opening page will offer updated details on its functionality.

Microsoft has urged users to update as soon as possible to avoid any potential issues.