Europe to Receive Browser-less Windows 7 - HotHardware
Europe to Receive Browser-less Windows 7

Europe to Receive Browser-less Windows 7

It's already been made clear by Microsoft that Internet Explorer 8 can be uninstalled, or disabled, from Windows 7, which is due to launch on Oct. 22nd. However, the company is going still further in Europe, where it will not sell any versions of Windows 7 that contain IE.

C|Net first uncovered the change, via a leaked memo. This is obviously a pre-emptive "strike" at E.U. regulators, who have looked askance at some of Microsoft's practices.

In part, the memo, which has already been delivered to OEMs, said:
"To ensure that Microsoft is in compliance with European law, Microsoft will be releasing a separate version of Windows 7 for distribution in Europe that will not include Windows Internet Explorer," the software maker said in the memo. "Microsoft will offer IE8 separately and free of charge and will make it easy and convenient for PC manufacturers to preinstall IE 8 on Windows 7 machines in Europe if they so choose. PC manufacturers may choose to install an alternative browser instead of IE 8, and has always been the case, they may install multiple browsers if they wish."
While at first not responding to a C|Net inquiry, once the "cat was out of the bag," Microsoft posted an entry on its Law and Policy blog. Here's what they said, in part:
The worldwide launch of Windows 7 is fast approaching, but a pending legal case raises concerns about the sufficiency of competition among the Web browsers that are available to Windows users in Europe. In January the European Commission provided its preliminary view that Microsoft’s “bundling” of Internet Explorer in Windows violated European competition law.

We’re committed to making Windows 7 available in Europe at the same time that it launches in the rest of the world, but we also must comply with European competition law as we launch the product. Given the pending legal proceeding, we’ve decided that instead of including Internet Explorer in Windows 7 in Europe, we will offer it separately and on an easy-to-install basis to both computer manufacturers and users. This means that computer manufacturers and users will be free to install Internet Explorer on Windows 7, or not, as they prefer. Of course, they will also be free, as they are today, to install other Web browsers.

Based on the progress our development teams have made, we announced last week that Windows 7 will be available to consumers worldwide on October 22nd. In order to meet that release date, we needed to start telling computer manufacturers this week exactly what to expect in Windows 7 so they can begin all of the engineering and operational work necessary to have PCs available in stores in October. We began that process earlier this week.

Windows 7 will be offered in Europe in all of the versions that will be available here in the United States, both 32- and 64-bit, with an “E” at the end of the product name (for instance, Windows 7 Home Premium E). The E versions of Windows 7 will ship at the same time as Windows 7 ships in the rest of the world, and they will be available in 23 European languages.
Microsoft will also remove IE8 from the "N" versions of Windows 7, which also removes the Windows Media Player from the OS as a result of another decision by Europe's antitrust bodies.  Although this move makes one wonder about Microsoft's past statements, whereupon the company has said that the browser was integral to the OS and could not easily be removed, it was already clear when Microsoft confirmed the ability to disable IE8 in Windows 7 they were already thinking along these lines.
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Love it or hate it, I have discovered that Internet Explorer (whatever version) is necessary. Don't believe me? Try accessing your router via it's internet address and changing it's settings with Chrome or Firefox and see where that gets you! There are other places that require IE, too, but I am just too tired to list any more. If Micro$oft has to do this to satisfy the EuroFeds, so be it. At least Internet Explorer is still available to them, and I predict a lot of them will download it. Especially if they want to access their routers! 

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Internet Explorer might be "necessary" for some sites, because of their scripting.

However, Dave, you're forgetting that Firefox has an addon called "IE tab" that can convert Firefox's engine, in a specific tab, to the IE engine. Thus displaying the page properly if it does not support Firefox.

It does require IE to be installed, but doesn't require it to be used.

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Thanks for that info, Fudge! But if IE needs to be installed it seems a lot easier just to use it in that instance. Would you happen to know if Chrome also has this feature? I like Chrome a lot, and I use it as my browser of choice, except when I visit Ebay. Whilst using Chrome on Ebay I have discovered that when I am on an auction page, then click the BACK button, I still remain on the same auction page! I have to click the BACK arrow twice to get to the previous page. This is not a big complaint, but it bugs the heck out of me because I spend so much time on Ebay. Anyone have a cure for that, or am I stuck surfing Ebay with Internet Explorer? 

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Ha! the EU is so dumb... First it was windows media player, now its IE... whats next? They shoould just Ship an EU version that has nothing in it at all.... No free MS games, or accesories (paint), or any thing else, just a start bar and thats is... that way the comsumer is not pressured into using MS provided FREE products.....

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I so hate that, why would you wanna strip apart something that is so valuable! Bill Clinton could do it for the love of GOD the EU could do this? this is just stupid! lets make cars without engines those that make freaking sense? NO it dosent but hey developers are not freaking creative enough to make a OS and build a company like microsoft. Oh wait is this going to get even better how? are we forgetting the majority of people than don't really care about the OS itself? EU didn't really think about that one... Hey Mister or Ma'am do you know the different between this browser of the other? which one do you prefer to check your facebook?

Rest my case!

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