Microsoft offers IE7 free to all

Up until now, Microsoft ran the IE7 install through the “Windows Genuine Advantage” validation to determine whether or not PC users had a legitimate copy of Windows XP.

Today, Microsoft has removed those browser restrictions, making Internet Explorer 7 free to anyone.

PC users who are running pirated or counterfeit copies of Windows XP can also download IE7 without the genuine advantage restriction.

Steve Reynolds, IE program manager at Microsoft, said the move was to help the IE7 installation experience and to make the browser more broadly available. Reynolds went on to say that with today’s Installation and Availability Update, Internet Explorer 7 installation will no longer require Windows Genuine Advantage validation.

Internet Explorer 7 was released nearly a year ago and the removal of the WGA validation will boost install numbers.

Microsoft also said that the free IE7 browser will also protect more users from Internet Web security threats. IE7 includes a phishing filter that protects consumers at a rate of 900,000 times per week.