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MS had plans of its own for an IE uninstaller for Win98

Or so it would appear, from some of the trial exhibits

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Could Microsoft have been considering an uninstall procedure for IE4 in Windows 98? Some evidence suggesting this appears to have been missed by the DoJ, the Princeton puppies (Felten & Co), and the media generally. Remember, you first saw it in The Register first. There is a very interesting clue in an exhibit consisting of slides of a project revue meeting for Windows 98, held on 21 August 1997, and attended by Jim Allchin. An unknown hand (not Allchin's) had written "Uninstall", and from it came two arrows, one with a stressed arrow leading to a box that says "Tune-Up", and the other with an unstressed arrow pointing to the word "Instructions". The most likely explanation would appear to be that at some point in August 1997, the possibility of being able to uninstall IE was being considered, but that it was thought too late to include it directly in the first release of Windows 98. Consequently one possibility was to include the standard uninstall procedure for IE in a subsequently released "Tune-Up" pack (and bug fix). The annotation "instructions" could indicate that written instructions could be included (such as a list of IE files that could be removed) in some documentation. Another annotation said "few corps, lots users", suggesting that Microsoft did not expect much corporate take-up. The exhibit also contains the evidence that Microsoft had tested both Windows 95 and Windows 98 without IE -- something that Jim Allchin denied. David Boies asked Allchin why there was an uninstall procedure for TCP/IP, dialup networking, Netmeeting and Personal Webserver, but not for IE. Evidently, this was a sensitive issue for Allchin, since an email from him to Paul Maritz had suggested: "Move the shell--but not the browser--to the OS team. This was my recommendation before, as you know. It may not be the thing you want to do for other reasons, but it is the right thing to do for the OS (both Memphis and NT). IE 4 would just plug into the environment." ® Complete Register trial coverage

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