Authentication gone, but IE still genuine

Microsoft removes the WGA authentication from IE7's installation.

Microsoft has removed its Windows Genuine Advantage authentication system from the installation process for Internet Explorer 7.

For the average user, this means a quicker installation time. CNET is reporting that Microsoft's decision was because of enhanced security fixes that replace the need for the WGA. However, some have speculated that Redmond's reasoning may have less to do with consumer protection and more with program distribution: Mozilla's Firefox 2 has eaten somewhere between 10 and 20 percent of the browser market, depending on whose metrics you believe, and that has Microsoft's bigwigs deeply concerned. Throw in the Opera browser aiming at the gaming and mobile markets and Apple's Safari branching out into PC-land, and it looks like IE is taking some hits, and not the kind it wants.