Microsoft Decides No IE with Win 7 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!

Click here to see the original story.

  • sanctoon
    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
  • IzzyCraft
    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...
  • apmyhr
    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.
  • crisisavatar
    So ridiculous but at least MS now has a viable way of dealing with the nonsense.

    Bitchslap MS on its price increases and frequent OS lunches, not this crap.
  • SAL-e
    That is funny. MS is playing victim. I have posted many times before, but media propaganda is much stronger. There is big difference between bundling and pre-installing a web-browser. As far I know none of Linux distribution are bundling Firefox. They pre-install FF. You can remove the FF and install whatever you want. I don't know about Mac OS X and Safari, but I suspect that you can remove Safari and put other browser.
    MS is bundling their browser. All current versions of windows will break if you try to remove the IE and there are technical measures that prevent you from removing IE. This is called technical restriction and removing the shortcut does not count. There is also market restriction. You can not get Windows with out IE and you can not get IE with out Windows. That is why EU is taking the case. Now MS is playing politics and try to swing consumer/user opinion in order to win against EU.
    Providing Windows without IE is step in the right direction, but the way MS is doing this only shows real motives why MS bundled IE on the first place.
    The right solution would be. MS is offering only one version of Windows that can be installed without installing the IE, but IE should be on the CD. There should be Wizard Question during the install that states that if you don't install IE you will need to install alternate browser in order to browse the web. No ballot screen - this is crap. MS should not be forced to advertise their competitors.
    Regard to OEMs they should get Windows and IE licensed separately. This will allow the other vendors to make a deal with OEM vendor to pre-install their browser along IE or exclusively, but this should be OEM's choice and MS should be prohibited from charging more for Windows if OEM vendor chooses to work with other browser.
    I have to say that a bit sad that tech-savvy readers of TH are so easy to manipulate. MS is trying to play us. It is not the problem or question about pre-installing the IE. The problem is that MS is bundling IE in order to leverage their monopolistic position with OEM vendors and keep the other browser vendors away.
    Sorry for using a little hard language, but this media propaganda is ridiculous.
  • IzzyCraft
    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...
  • lancelot123
    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.
  • SAL-e
    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.
  • apmyhr
    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.
  • cryogenic
    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.