A free download that can cut Windows Vista's gargantuan footprint by half or more is developing a big following on the Internet. vLite is a configuration tool
that lets users automatically delete a lot of unnecessary Vista components — such as Windows Media Player and MSN installer — to pare the OS down to a reasonable size. The software is catching on. An InformationWeek story notes that a forum that asks users to suggest new features has drawn nearly 50,000 page views. Meanwhile, Microsoft officials have themselves conceded that Vista is "bloated" and are developing the next version of Windows on a core called MinWin
, which is smaller than Vista by an order of magnitude.