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Microsoft Decides No IE with Win 7 in Europe

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 60 comments

Microsoft has come up with its own solution to the whole EU antitrust issue that has been plaguing the company since January of this year: don't ship Internet Explorer with Windows 7, but only in Europe.

Citing a confidential memo that was sent to PC makers and seen by Cnet News, Cnet yesterday reported that the company plans to offer a version of its latest operating system, Windows 7 to Europeans but without the browser. Computer makers would then have the option to add the browser back in, ship another browser or ship multiple browsers.

“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 Redmond company said in the memo to PC manufacturers. "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,” the company continued, adding that “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."

This sheds new light on yesterday’s news in which European regulators were said to be investigating whether or not Microsoft had pressured PC makers into voting against a ‘ballot screen’ solution that would see users choose their own browser the first time they connected to the internet.

Microsoft confirmed that the document seen by Cnet is legit and as far as we can tell, however, the company’s solution offers PC makers the choice of browser and not the user. Do you agree with this remedy by Microsoft? Let us know in the comments below!

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Top Comments
  • 24 Hide
    sanctoon , June 12, 2009 10:32 AM
    Who wanna take a bet 90% of the OEM's will stick with IE.

    I'm a ubuntu and firefox user, but this ruling was way unfair against MS, everybody else ship browsers with their OS
  • 12 Hide
    lancelot123 , June 12, 2009 12:24 PM
    SAL-e, you don't know what you're talking about.

    Microsoft made Windows. It is their product. They should be able to ship whatever the hell they want with it. Don't like it? Don't buy it. Simple. Or hey, why not change browsers yourself like tons of people before me have said. MS is the victim here. The victim of their own popularity. More people use IE? Hey, maybe people like it. I sure do.

    McDonalds is sure getting big. Maybe they should be forced to start selling Whoppers.
Other Comments
  • 24 Hide
    sanctoon , June 12, 2009 10:32 AM
    Who wanna take a bet 90% of the OEM's will stick with IE.

    I'm a ubuntu and firefox user, but this ruling was way unfair against MS, everybody else ship browsers with their OS
  • 9 Hide
    IzzyCraft , June 12, 2009 10:39 AM
    It's unfair for the people who make the os to put their own software in it? I still say the EU ruling is stupid as hell, it's like saying i need to promote Dryers ice cream in a cold stones ice cream parlor if you want that go somewhere else you have the option FF is bundled with Linux builds and mac lets sue them! where is the ie there, is it only fair play when you don't have majority control? If they want in they should have to pay not the other way around...
  • 0 Hide
    apmyhr , June 12, 2009 10:49 AM
    Is this really any different from how things already worked? I'm sure if Dell wanted to, they could uninstall IE from all of their computers and put on Firefox. The only difference now seems to be that they can request the OS without IE in the first place, at least in Europe, big whoop-de-doo.

    But ya, I agree with sanctoon, this probably wont change the fact that almost every PC sold will still have IE on it by default. At least I really doubt that vendors will place multiple browsers on their systems. Grandma is going to be very confused as to why her computer has 2 or 3 different internets. The reason this whole mess is so stupid is that most people dont give a crap what browser they get, and the people who do care are the ones who already know how to download and install firefox or chrome.
  • -6 Hide
    IzzyCraft , June 12, 2009 11:58 AM
    Price doesn't increase really at all...Home edition cost me 200 dollar just about, vista home premium cost me 200 dollars just about, if i talk about inflation and how my US dollar is worth less then when i bought xp then it actually cost less, maybe...
  • 12 Hide
    lancelot123 , June 12, 2009 12:24 PM
    SAL-e, you don't know what you're talking about.

    Microsoft made Windows. It is their product. They should be able to ship whatever the hell they want with it. Don't like it? Don't buy it. Simple. Or hey, why not change browsers yourself like tons of people before me have said. MS is the victim here. The victim of their own popularity. More people use IE? Hey, maybe people like it. I sure do.

    McDonalds is sure getting big. Maybe they should be forced to start selling Whoppers.
  • -9 Hide
    SAL-e , June 12, 2009 12:47 PM
    lancelot123SAL-e, you don't know what you're talking about.

    Yes I do, but you have not read my post in its entirety or did not bother to think about it. Yes MS is making a Windows.
    Yes the can pre-install IE.
    Yes if you like it, you are welcome, use it.
    Yes MS should not be forced to ship other browsers on their Windows CD.
    Yes MS should not be forced to promote other browser.

    But If I don't like IE MS should not force it on me.
    MS should allow me to remove it. IE is security problem for me and I don't want it on my systems. I don't want to spend every month of testing and deploying patches on product that I do not use.
    I want to buy system from Dell or other vendor and I want to have option "Do not install IE".
    lancelot123Don't like it? Don't buy it.

    And yes I want that too.
    I want to open the OEM vendor's page select computer and click option "No operating system pre-installed"

    Because you never had to deal with MS as OEM you are speaking like that. I have. As small shop I had to sign deal that prevent me from installing other OS in order to get OEM discounted price. Other wise I had to pay retail price of Windows. You can negotiate other contract with MS only if you running millions of dollars. Other wise it is take it or leave.
  • -1 Hide
    apmyhr , June 12, 2009 1:05 PM
    SAL-e, since I am on my work laptop, I cannot completley verify this, but you should be able to remove IE from Add/Remove Programs. Therefor your whole bundle vs pre-installed argument is irrelavent. But again, I can't try this out on my work laptop, so feel free to correct me if I am wrong. If you are correct, and Microsoft made it impossible to remove IE, then yes, I would suddenly side with the EU. But I don't think this is the case.
  • 8 Hide
    cryogenic , June 12, 2009 1:09 PM
    From now we will see application requirements:
    Windows x or later + Internet explorer y or later.
    instead of:
    Windows x or later.

    So people will be forced to instal IE one way or another, because lot's of applications use IE components to render web pages.
    Even Winamp uses the IE rendering component for it's windows.
    Lot's of help systems for various applications use IE to render their help manuals, etc ...

    IE is not just a browser, IE is a also web rendering technology that applications can use, and many have been using. Besides why shouldn't they?

    Anyway I don't want vendors to remove IE from new PCs, but to install alternate browsers by default.



  • 1 Hide
    Andraxxus , June 12, 2009 1:15 PM
    Quote:
    a ‘ballot screen’ solution that would see users choose their own browser the first time they connected to the internet.

    That would be the only solution that would allow the users to choose the browser that they want. But apparently the influence of some may damage the users once again.
  • -7 Hide
    SAL-e , June 12, 2009 1:21 PM
    apmyhrSAL-e, since I am on my work laptop, I cannot completley verify this, but you should be able to remove IE from Add/Remove Programs.

    Apmyhr,
    The "Add/Remove Programs" removes only the shortcuts from your desktop, quick lunch and "Start" menu. Take a look in the column how much disk space will be free if you used that option. It is 0K, because IE will be there. MS put this option in order to comply with other order from EU. I think EU commission was wrong with that order, but hey they are politicians.
    You can verify my position by this experiment take a new disk install fresh windows. Then use Add/Remove and remove IE. Then run Windows Update and note that first patch offered to you would be "Cumulative patch for IE xxxx" Then go to Run... dialog box and type "http://xxxxx" and hit Run. Notice what is going to happen.
    I have not done this on Windows 7. I have done it last on XP SP2 my trusted friend did it on Vista when was introduced. I have not done it on Vista SP1 or SP2. If you do try it on Win7 please let us know.
    On Windows XP if you delete iexplorer.exe MS is going to put it back. There is a way to do it, but then windows will not start normally.
  • -3 Hide
    ThePatriot , June 12, 2009 1:43 PM
    Better still:
    No Win 7 at all in the EU.

    That will expedite progresss the way we want it.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , June 12, 2009 1:44 PM
    I'm a little more pissed off that windows is bundled with that useless Notepad program when I'd much rather be given the choice of installing OpenOffice, or Notepad++, possibly even the programmers notepad! Where is my ballot! Gosh... On a serious note:

    1. Power User - Win, if there is a version of 7 that doesn't come bundled with IE, than IE will now be uninstallable.

    2. Consumer - Win, they really don't care which browser is installed, as long as they can get to their facebook.

    3. EU - Lose, they are never going to win. Isn't influencing which browser people use an act of anti-trust in it's self? If you have nothing better to worry about than an IE vs FF vs Safari vs Opera farce, maybe you should just dissolve into a useful form of government (yet to be discovered form)...

    Seriously, maybe Microsoft should simply stop shipping Windows to the EU, and put a clause in the EULA forbidding it's use! Problem solved?
  • 9 Hide
    Platypus , June 12, 2009 1:48 PM
    After this, the EU is going to say Microsoft should give users the option to select which calculator tool they want to use, as well as which paint software. Providing only the one they built (at no cost to the user) just doesn't seem to be enough.

    This EU decision really doesn't pass the common sense test. The only way you could side with EU was if Windows actually prevented you from installing other browsers, but that is obviously not the case.
  • 2 Hide
    computabug , June 12, 2009 2:25 PM
    Not sure if this would be a good idea... but what gives EU the right to sue MS? If the EU doesn't like MS, then don't buy MS >> gosh, simple as that.
  • 4 Hide
    blackened144 , June 12, 2009 2:31 PM
    SAL-eYes I do, but you have not read my post in its entirety or did not bother to think about it. Yes MS is making a Windows. Yes the can pre-install IE. Yes if you like it, you are welcome, use it. Yes MS should not be forced to ship other browsers on their Windows CD. Yes MS should not be forced to promote other browser.But If I don't like IE MS should not force it on me. MS should allow me to remove it. IE is security problem for me and I don't want it on my systems. I don't want to spend every month of testing and deploying patches on product that I do not use. I want to buy system from Dell or other vendor and I want to have option "Do not install IE".And yes I want that too. I want to open the OEM vendor's page select computer and click option "No operating system pre-installed" Because you never had to deal with MS as OEM you are speaking like that. I have. As small shop I had to sign deal that prevent me from installing other OS in order to get OEM discounted price. Other wise I had to pay retail price of Windows. You can negotiate other contract with MS only if you running millions of dollars. Other wise it is take it or leave.

    So it sounds to me like you made the decision on your own to use MS and Internet Explorer. You could always sell computers with Linux on them.
  • 2 Hide
    roorunner , June 12, 2009 2:34 PM
    first fortune cookies, next the world! oops, this isn't the Chinese green dam story... looks like EU is own by China. Only one answer to the world's woes - tin foil hats - protects the noggin from alien thought control waves
  • 0 Hide
    cadder , June 12, 2009 2:40 PM
    I think in Europe they should leave the browser out entirely. Let the buyers go BUY a browser from someone else and install it. Of course not having a browser in the first place, they would have to buy the browser of their choice on CD and install it that way. Couldn't just download it like we can. Maybe the European customers would complain to their stupid officials.

    With XP I don't think you can uninstall IE. I tried it with my laptop and Windows went on the internet, found IE, downloaded it and reinstalled it! I did this twice and it reinstalled twice, then I gave up and just ignored it from then on.
  • -5 Hide
    SAL-e , June 12, 2009 3:00 PM
    blackened144So it sounds to me like you made the decision on your own to use MS and Internet Explorer. You could always sell computers with Linux on them.

    No, I was forced. My vision was and still is that my customers should use the best hardware and software to get maximum efficiency and profit. Some times it makes sense to use MS Windows, some times it is Linux or other OS. I want to provide the best service to my customer. Not like Mr. Tuan Nguyen who admitted here: http://www.tomshardware.com/news/amd-intel-cpu,7837.html that he was pushing HP products based on money paid by HP to his employer instead of offering the best solution for their client. Yes, I can make quick money that way, but I will lose my customer in the long run. I have small number of clients, but I have their trust and I never going to betray that. Many in US are speaking about honesty and go to church every weekend, but during the week they are forgetting everything. I am not and I don’t want to be a hypocrite.
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