Both Windows XP and Windows 2000 will be rendered inoperable, and Microsoft will be unable to develop future new operating systems, if it is forced to separate IE from the operating system, according to court filings the company made on Friday.
The US States still fighting Microsoft argue, on the contrary, that separation of this and other matters now "integrated" into the OS is both feasible and necessary.
Hence the appearance of serial expert witness Lee Hollaar, whose task it will be to provide the necessary techie data to 'prove' whether or not the disentanglement can be done. This time the company seems to be threatening to withdraw Windows from the market entirely, and not develop or ship it ever again.
In the past, Microsft argued that IE could not be removed from the OS, but after Professor Ed Felten proved this (and caught Microsoft falsifying a video 'proving' that it didn't work), it seemed equally clear that IE could be removed from Win9x if Microsoft wanted to do it, and that the Microsoft versus Hollaar argument will initially reprise the Felten row. However, this time around we'll be talking about Windows 2000 and WinXP as well, and that widens the battlefield quite a bit.
Microsoft has had a lot more time to build IE deeper into its latest versions of Windows, and if we're being charitable we might even say it's put a lot more IE-related functionality into the OS, which would break if IE were removed.
If we were being uncharitable we could say that much of this functionality is IE-dependent precisely because the High Command required that it be so - it could have been done by alternative means, and any vast recoding problems caused by removal are therefore self-inflicted.
News source: The Register