Home > Windows > XPlite Now Available XPlite Now Available Submitted by Pasi Ruhanen 2003-09-16 Windows 52 Comments After some time in development, XPlite has finally been released. XPlite (successor of 98lite) lets you remove Internet Explorer, Windows Media Player and several other components from Windows XP/2000. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 52 Comments 2003-09-16 5:50 pm Is it possible to use Windows Update without Internet Explorer ? 2003-09-16 6:02 pm No, windows update requires IE. What you can do is use an alternative browser to download the individual patches, and then install them individually. Not as easy, but if you truly want to be rid of IE, its worthwhile. 2003-09-16 6:15 pm if your getting rid of IE would it make the most sense to get ride of windows? 2003-09-16 6:20 pm Will this let me build a winPE style boot cd that still has wow32? This would let me run all my old 16bit DOS utils under winXP and see ntfs… This would be a good thing. 2003-09-16 6:21 pm Its something like this that I could use right now. I’m sitting here at school trying to get some basic work done on a windows machine, (basic web browsing at the moment). IE is slower than evolution, and the way the computers are set up I couldn’t get anything to work like Moz. Firebird. So right now I am typing this post in Lynx, yes the text based web browser. It is the only browser that I can seem to get anything done on. I just wish the sys. admins here could do a better job of maintaining stable computers. 2003-09-16 6:33 pm Hi ! As a software engineer, I cannot imagine uninstalling all these useful softwares from a Computer. We Need Internet Explorer to browse the Net : Netscape is dead, Mozilla is slow and Opera is buggy and crappy : 99% of the Websites are optimized with Internet Explorer. Lot of professional Websites don’t support neither Mozilla nor Opera This is stupid to uninstall Internet Explorer that is the main Browser on the Web (95% of Market Share) As well as Windows Media Player : Quicktime is shitty, Real Player will probably die like Netscape (Real Player went to Open Source, that means they will probably close down their business, or be bought out) MSN is also the main software to keep in touch with friends and family : AIM has a lot of Spywares, ICQ is too difficult to use and Jabber is buggy. What is the reason to uninstall all these useful software ? Could someone explain to me the main reason ? 2003-09-16 6:48 pm Speaking as a network admin here. You can easily replace IE by Firebird, which is slowly maturing, and, whilst not considered a really good browser by me (I prefer OMNIweb by far), it’s perfectly suitable for the average user. Truly “professional” websites should support at least Gecko, the Mozilla rendering engine. Otherwise, they were surely not designed by “professionals”, but by PR-driven amateurs. How you come up with QuickTime being shitty is beyond me; in addition, RealPlayer went OpenSource with some of their technology, but that has no relationship to their financial power at all. Also, both QuickTime and RealMedia are multimedia frameworks (like WindowsMedia), so in reality, you’ll probably want to offer all three of them to your users. As a simple player that does all of them, use MediaPlayer Classic (http://sourceforge.net/projects/guliverkli/). As for instant messaging, I’m connected to AIM, MSN, ICQ and Yahoo right now all at once using just one client – there’s several multi-protocol clients out there which are not necessarily buggy at all. The reason to uninstall software is control. Admins want exactly the software they actually *know about* to be installed, and not something someone dictates them to use. As for Windows Update, there’s scripts that will let you automatically update your client computers without using IE at all (and technically, it is irresponsible of MS to require IE for this feature). 2003-09-16 6:48 pm We need Internet Explorer to browse the Net Funny, Mozilla Firebird is faster than IE, and I have not yet run into a site that doesn’t work correctly (Including my online banking site) This is stupid to uninstall Internet Explorer that is the main Browser on the Web (95% of Market Share) And it is stupid for me to listen to country music because pop music is the popular choice for most people. – Different strokes for different folks As well as Windows Media Player : Quicktime is shitty, Real Player will probably die like Netscape Winamp for me – quicktime works fine for me, its all about having choices. MSN is also the main software to keep in touch with friends and family : AIM has a lot of Spywares, ICQ is too difficult to use and Jabber is buggy. Funny, GAIM works great for me, and I can contact msn, aol, icq and yahoo. Or maybe trillian would work for you What is the reason to uninstall all these useful software ? Could someone explain to me the main reason ? The main reason? Some people like to have choices. Some people like to tweak. Take out a lot of the bloat, and you’ll find windows works faster. I know people who still used win 3.1 up until a year ago because it was quick on newer hardware. Ever had a windows boottime of under 25 seconds (Including POST?) 2003-09-16 6:51 pm Opera isn’t crappy or buggy, just because it doesn’t render webpages correctly. It’s people who think they know enough HTML to make something “work” with Internet Explorer who are the problem. 2003-09-16 6:55 pm I prefer more a Linux/Full with Mozilla, than a XP/lite. 2003-09-16 6:59 pm I use a patch program called BiGFix to find all the required updates for my machine. This will download any required patches from Windows Update, as well as a lot of anti-virus and firewall vendors as well. http://www.bigfix.com/website/products/consumer.html Easiest way to keep my machine up to date without requiring the use of IE. Just because M$ feels like they can cripple your machine if you choose NOT to use IE, doesn’t mean it has to be. You just need to do a little extra research. Also, removing IE and outlook/outlook express will remove the need to download half of these patches anyways since they are mostly patching large security holes introduced by having IE operate at the kernel level. 2003-09-16 7:07 pm Its so funny to see Software Engineer and your comments in the same post. VBA doesnt make you a software engineer. 🙂 2003-09-16 7:08 pm Quicktime is shitty, Real Player will probably die like Netscape (Real Player went to Open Source, that means they will probably close down their business, or be bought out) Ever tried Xine or Mplayer ?? I would say Windows Media Player sucks… It is slow and does not include many formats as standard. I never ever found a movie that I couldn’t play with mplayer. 2003-09-16 7:17 pm I thought windows couldn’t function without ie and the other bloat. Isn’t that why they couldn’t actually remove this software from the systems with the antitrust settlement, and just hide the icons instead. I remember Microsoft specifically saying that WindowsXP cannot function if you remove IE and the other bundeled apps. 2003-09-16 7:26 pm matt, they said that many things would break, which is 100% true. There are many 3rd party apps, as well as many OS functions, which require IE to be there, if IE is not there, it will not work correctly, plain and simple. 2003-09-16 7:30 pm I agree. Xine and MPlayer are at the top of the Media Player pyramid. They’ll play anything, and are both stable and fast – in fact, they are better at playing QuickTime movies than the real QuickTime player (and don’t feature that annoying “Upgrade to QuickTime Pro” dialog box popping up everytime). 2003-09-16 7:34 pm Cthulhu: Does Xine and/or MPlayer have any movie/music managment features and such? 2003-09-16 7:40 pm Can somebody tell me what the Full version will do that the trial won’t? They don’t say anything about it on the website. I think I just found a resurection for my P133. I’ll by a CF/IDE adapter with a 128Mb card and run my Gateway/Mail server on it. No mechanical parts means no failure (besides crash, that’s why I’ll use win2K lite to minimize chances) 2003-09-16 7:41 pm “There are many 3rd party apps, as well as many OS functions, which require IE to be there, if IE is not there, it will not work correctly, plain and simple.” That’s fine, long as the system is more secure which it will be without IE loaded on it. It’s well worth the trade off IMHO. 2003-09-16 7:42 pm yes, xine does. I don’t think mplayer supports playlists. Both of them have options that Media Player can only dream of though.. (reindex an avi, framedrop, driver selection, etc.) 2003-09-16 7:48 pm One thing I wish WMP would do is utilize the great abilites of NTFS for managing the music. Currently if you have a piece of music, play it in WMP, and then move it, the Media Library does not change location of where to access the file from, even though NTFS has the ability to track such information on its own. Which is just one example. 2003-09-16 7:49 pm I cannot find it anywhere on there site. Would be nice to fit XP in under 50 MB. 2003-09-16 7:53 pm I’ll by a CF/IDE adapter with a 128Mb card and run my Gateway/Mail server on it. No mechanical parts means no failure (besides crash, that’s why I’ll use win2K lite to minimize chances) I have this nice 64-MB memory module lying around here. It has no moving pieces, and has just been in my PC, became obsolete by a memory upgrade. But still, it’s went a little bad, Windows 2000 doesn’t even last a day before it spontaneously reboots. On the other hand, wasn’t that comment of the Computer Engeneer meant ironically? 2003-09-16 8:12 pm Daan, By memory card I meant Compact Flash Memory Card. On my side I’m sure my old 128 SDRam will do the trick just fine. No more HD, no more video Card, no sound card etc.. + low frequency Processor that uses passive cooling means a totally fanless PC thus 100% Silent. I love it already. I can’t wait 2003-09-16 8:15 pm MPlayer also comes with a format converter, MEncoder, to change the format of a particular movie clip. It lacks a “native” playlist functionality, but you can use the XMMPlayer plugin for XMMS that lets you use that program to view video files (in all the formats supported by MPlayer). You can then use XMMS’ playlist functionalities to line up videos and/or music files – one of the advantages of MPlayer’s open architecture! http://thegraveyard.org/xmmplayer.php (One drawback: no full-screen display when using XMMS to view video files.) 2003-09-16 8:44 pm Unless you can find a way to fix all of the programs that would break when you unsinstalled IE? Perhaps a Gecko ActiveX control ? 2003-09-16 8:48 pm It exists: http://www.iol.ie/~locka/mozilla/mozilla.htm 2003-09-16 9:10 pm With the free trial version you can remove the accessories, Games, accessibility options, and server components (indexing service and indexing service languages resources). You cannot remove IE, Outlook Express, Communication and messaging components, Multimedia, Operating system options or system tools etc. The Full program file size is less than 500KB and has no registry entries or uninstall program, you simply unzip one file anywhere you want and run it. The trial version shows how well it works without removing any of the really annoying stuff that you cant remove in any other way but it seems to work well. 2003-09-16 9:14 pm Olivier, please don’t, don’t, don’t do that with windows… some time ago i was tempted to do something similar, i spent some effort to build a boot cd with win98 that worked in 64mb (ramdisk included) and without a hard disk, only to find out later that with linux i could have done it (and much more) better, in less time, with more flexybility, with less cost (and/or less legal and ethic issues), and hardware 1/10 as powerfull… in this kind of setup free unices can’t be beaten. 2003-09-16 9:23 pm Most thing that XPLite can do, all can do with a little research, check out tweakXP.com for tweaks for removing IE. Are there version of Mplayer and xine for Windows?? cant seem to find on the webpages 2003-09-16 9:37 pm Are there version of Mplayer and xine for Windows?? cant seem to find on the webpages Not that I can think of – which officially makes that entire thread off-topic, I guess! I will crawl back into my underwater lair now… 2003-09-16 9:51 pm “I thought windows couldn’t function without ie and the other bloat. Isn’t that why they couldn’t actually remove this software from the systems with the antitrust settlement, and just hide the icons instead. I remember Microsoft specifically saying that WindowsXP cannot function if you remove IE and the other bundeled apps.” Microsoft has a well known reputation for lying under oath or at the very least twisting the truth to the maximum degree. With the proper tools available from Microsoft and third parties you can make a complete build of XP with only the software components you desire. They told the court XP wouldn’t work without that stuff but admitted that XP embedded could. When asked if they were the same product they said no. From a technical standpoint this is not true, from a marketing standpoint it is true. Basically it comes down to semantics, the meaning of words, like Bill Clinton arguing in court about the meaning of the word “is”. If you remove IE from XP, well then you just “broke” internet browsing. Install another browser and guess what? You just fixed it. 2003-09-16 10:17 pm “We Need Internet Explorer to browse the Net : Netscape is dead, Mozilla is slow and Opera is buggy and crappy ” This is an outright lie. After you use Opera for a while other browsers seem just plain weird, you notice how oddly mozilla variants load and behave, and the I.E. popups: I don’t think it’s a simple matter of not blocking them, I get the feeling that I.E. somehow recieves popups that are not even *sent* to any other browser. : 99% of the Websites are optimized with Internet Explorer. Lot of professional Websites don’t support neither Mozilla nor Opera” If they won’t work on Opera then they’re not really that “professional” at all, are they. As for Mozilla, I once wrote a simple webpage that ran on NewDeal, Arachne, OB1, in fact *anything* but mozilla because of a single missing table tag that no other browser failed on. How anyone can put Opera and Mozilla in the same category is a mystery, but aaaiiiIEeeee only seems swell to people that have nothing else to compare it to. Having said all that, Opera’s allowing flashing banners again, and it’s going to bury them. I actually gave that pile of crap mozilla another chance over it, and after getting disgusted wrote a banner-sized VB program to cover it. 2003-09-16 10:19 pm As a simple player that does all of them, use MediaPlayer Classic (http://sourceforge.net/projects/guliverkli/). mplayer2.exe? :p Comes with every version of Windows. 99% of the Websites are optimized with Internet Explorer. Not true, my friend. Just because a lot of people use it, it doesn’t mean that websites don’t work properly in other browsers. In fact, I rarely run into problems myself — I use FireBird. MSN is also the main software to keep in touch with friends and family: AIM has a lot of Spywares, ICQ is too difficult to use and Jabber is buggy. Miranda. http://www.miranda-im.org/ http://www.bigfix.com/website/products/consumer.html Easiest way to keep my machine up to date without requiring the use of IE. Are you sure? Says right under the download button: Minimum Requirements: * Pentium Processor or higher * 32MB RAM * Windows 9x/ME/NT/2000/XP/2003 * Internet Explorer 4 or higher Or are they ‘just saying that’? I remember Microsoft specifically saying that WindowsXP cannot function if you remove IE and the other bundeled apps. Yes, many, many apps (such as the one right above) say they require IE. 2003-09-16 11:49 pm There are suspects, that all those apps relied on API added by IE-existance in system are vulnerable, exploitable and virus-attractive at same grade as IE itself, or even more, specifical flaws of those apps may be used to exploit your system. So at price of “trustworthy computing” it may be really good compromise to ged rid of those 3 apps. 2003-09-16 11:56 pm actualy, all it does it remove that IE client, the MSHTML is still there for other programs to use. 2003-09-17 12:48 am What MS was doing was splitting hairs. They were saying that if all of the files used by IE were removed, the os would not work. What they leave out is that if some of the dlls that are used by other programs for htlm rendering, for example, are left in everything works perfectly fine. All it takes is careful planning. 2003-09-17 1:20 am Now if they could write something that removes product activation,IE,Outlook and that crap GUI from Windows XP all in one go then i may consider it:) Im sticking with Windows 98SE till Linux becomes more usable on the desktop. 98SE has worked for me. 2003-09-17 2:35 am The problem is there are many apps and OS functions that depend on IE for certain functionality… and this is exactly what Microsoft said, they did not say that Windows wouldn’t work without it. Windows Embedded is different from a technical standpoint as well. Everything is modularized in embedded Windows, this is not so with normal versions. 2003-09-17 2:38 am Then what exacltly is the point of removing IE? All the vulnerabilties are still there, same rendering engine, etc… 2003-09-17 3:44 am “The problem is there are many apps and OS functions that depend on IE for certain functionality… and this is exactly what Microsoft said, they did not say that Windows wouldn’t work without it.” Please specify……what apps? Vecc 2003-09-17 8:01 am As someone said previously, I just cannot imagine why would anyone using Windows want to remove those things. For those people there are plenty of alternative MS-free OSs, and I honestly only see the need of it to create custom machines dedicated to a very particular end which could benefit of reducing the space and cpu that those apps imply. I cannot see any other interest besides that as a lamish and fake anti-MS attittude of “look how I have a MS apps free MS OS”. Besides, there’s the fact that evryone seems to be considering IE and WMP as simple apps, and not what they truely represent for the OS: services. Sure, you use Firebird for web browsing (which, BTW, I cannot say if it is indeed faster or not at rendering pages than IE when cpu power is not lacking, but I can assert that the application itself is, by a long shot, slower than IE in computers that are not so powerful, like my P233 w/160MB of RAM), but if you get rid of IE will you be able to browse help files or use whatever other app that NEEDS an html rendering service (because, mind you, that is IMHO a thing that is more than simply useful in an OS)? Sure you love MPlayer in favor of WMP as a player for your favourite clips, but get rid of WMP and forget about using whatever video/audio app that NEEDs av services like VirtualDub, Premiere or simply your webcam. Besides, who the hell chooses WMP, Quicktime or RealPlayer because of “how cool they are”? If I am browsing a web page that has real media EMBEDDED into it I want RealPlayer in my computer, however cool/crap it is as a play-it-all app: what I want is simply be able to watch the content. I just do not get why people are so prone to claim for a MS OS free of html rendering services, audio/video services, and I see nobody claiming for it to not have also services related to type rendering, still image, etc. Please, MS, when will you get rid of that damn calculator I find so useful everyday. 2003-09-17 10:14 am “I cannot find it anywhere on there site. Would be nice to fit XP in under 50 MB.” It’s not possible to fit XP in under 50 MB unless you remove everything useful. With XP Embedded, it’s possible (and easy) to create a sub 100 MB install. 2003-09-17 11:14 am I waiting for a more mature build of Thunderbird before adopting it as my default mail program. Before that happens, I’m still using Outlook Express. I presume that removing iexplore would kill Outlook Express too ? Hmmm – come to think of it, I think I’d rather keep iexplore for now – there are a few sites that will not work with mozilla, because of the way the sites have been developed. I long for the day when I can ditch windows forever, but I need my games and multimedia apps 2003-09-17 11:55 am There is an even beter tool for improving Windows XP. It’s called cfdisk. If you are going to get rid of an internet browser because it is slow, bloated and unsecure, then why not get rid of the OS that suffers from the same problems. The box said I needed Windows 98 or better . . . so I installed GNU/Linux. 2003-09-17 1:38 pm >As someone said previously, I just cannot imagine why would >anyone using Windows want to remove those things There are very nice replacements for those trojan programs, like IE, Outlook, WMP. But no such replacement for some more specialized programs for AltOSes, as mentioned here numerous times. And some of those are very high-priced. Not all Windows users are dealing with web-porn/shopping, spam reading and music video watching, some of us use Windoze programs as tools for work. In this case stability and security are much more important 2003-09-17 3:29 pm “Please specify……what apps? Vecc” I’ve seen few IMs that use it…so basically if doesn’t have native windows look inside its window there’s a good chance it uses ie rendering engine. 2003-09-17 3:37 pm “… MSN is also the main software to keep in touch with friends and family : AIM has a lot of Spywares, ICQ is too difficult to use and Jabber is buggy. …” Not true, second biggest IM (of the biggest local portal) here uses Jabber as its protocol (of course it’s completely open to world Jabber network and btw, they’re also developing one of the best Jabber servers). Suffice to say I’ve NEVER used IM program/network THAT good (using also ICQ with varius clients and also Yahoo in the past – the thing about how good this Jabber IM is includes also how good video conferencing is, and that’s on dead slow connections here). Too bad there’s no English version…many would like it. 2003-09-17 3:38 pm oh, and just to be clear, the one IM I’m talking about doesn’t use IE rendering engine. 2003-09-20 11:56 am ..involves using alternative browsers, mostly just because they’re not IE. You guys are so cool. I mean, come on! Wake up! “Opera isn’t crappy or buggy, just because it doesn’t render webpages correctly.”!!! I mean, wtf? What could possibly make a browser crappy and/or buggy, weren’t it not the ability to render webpages, or the lack thereof? I have seen PLENTY of html/css inconsistencies in Opera, even with W3C Html Strict approved html code! And don’t even get me started on Mozilla (aka Takes-A-Lifetime-To-Start-Mozilla). Ok, so it renders webpages fairly fast. But wtf does it matter when it needs a damn coffee break to start up? And not to mention all the GPF’s! (These issues and more applies to ALL browsers that use the Mozilla rendering engine, so I won’t mention Fire-crap-Bird). Face it, people. IE is the BEST browser for Windows. If you think otherwise, you are either blind, stupid, dead, or stupid. Now which is it? 2003-09-22 11:54 am >Face it, people. IE is the BEST browser for Windows. If you think otherwise, you are either blind, stupid, dead, or stupid. Now which is it? This man is so wrong, I can’t even be bothered to argue with him. 2003-09-22 3:56 pm I bought 98lite a few years ago. I thought it was great for my 120mhz laptop. It had a few issues but I was very pleased with it otherwise because all the Windows bloat affected my PC’s performance. I’m curious about XPlite but I have a much, much faster PC now with lots of HD space so I’m not sure if the benefits I would get from using this product outweigh any incompatability problems that may result. I don’t use Internet Explorer regularly but I like keeping it for windows updates and for that rare web page that doesn’t work quite right in either Opera and Firebird. As far as I know, these MS programs such as IE and Outlook Express don’t pose any significant security risks for me since I rarely use them or don’t use them at all. I’m hoping a review will give me a clearer picture of it all.