Microsoft made an interesting move Friday by releasing a new build of Internet Explorer version 7 that does not require WGA (Windows Genuine Advantage) validation in order to be installed. This means that it can be installed on any system that is running Windows XP or Server 2003. In the past, the IE 7 upgrade was reserved only for those whose system could pass the Microsoft WGA validation.
Many suggest that this move by Microsoft isn’t really to protect the Windows ecosystem, but rather to regain market share that has been lost with the ever increasing using of alternative browsers on the Windows platform, such as Firefox and Apple’s own Safari for Windows, which is still in Beta. Some suggest that the move allows IE 7 to reach the largest audience whether or not their copy of Windows is suspect.
While the removal of the WGA validation was the big change, several updates have also been made to the menu bar and online tour based on feedback. Also, a new MSI packaged version will be available to IT administrators to help streamline the role out of IE 7 within their organizations.