Princeton professor Edward Felten was called back to the witness stand today to demonstrate his Internet Explorer removal program and talk about whether there are any technically valid reasons why IE should be part of the operating system. When presented with a computer supplied by Microsoft, his IE removal program failed to expunge the browser completely. Unfortunately, this idiotic exercise is meaningless with respect to the larger issue, which is whether there are any benefits to “integrating” the Web browser with the operating system. Anyone with any sense at all can tell you that there are no advantages presented by integration. Is it useful to have a Web browser bundled with the operating system? Sure, but that’s not the same issue. Integrating the browser, or any incredibly bloated and complex application, with the operating system is simply a bad idea. In this day and age, the larger computer industry trend is toward modularization and distributed computing. Zero management servers, distributed computing via Jini, and lightweight interapplication communication protocols are all examples of this trend. Only Microsoft seems Hell bent on building enormous software edifices of increasing complexity, not to aid their customers, but rather to extend their dominance of the computer industry. The success or failure of one person’s hacked application removal program doesn’t change any of that.