Skip to main content

Browserless Windows 7 E Edition Likely Canceled

Last week we learned of Microsoft's proposal to the EU for a browser ballot screen where users will be able to choose which browser they'd wish to have installed and default on the system.

The European Commission seemed to be accepting on the idea, which now has Microsoft feeling comfortable enough to axe plans for a special version of Windows 7 for the European market that includes no browser, called Windows 7 E.

Dave Heiner, VP and Deputy General Counsel for Microsoft, wrote in blog, "In the wake of last week’s developments, as well as continuing feedback on Windows 7 E that we have received from computer manufacturers and other business partners, I’m pleased to report that we will ship the same version of Windows 7 in Europe in October that we will ship in the rest of the world."

While shipping a version of Windows 7 without any browser at all would have put the antitrust concerns to rest, Microsoft and its partners felt that having a separate version of the OS could cause headaches down the road.

Heiner explained, "One reason we decided not to ship Windows 7 E is concerns raised by computer manufacturers and partners. Several worried about the complexity of changing the version of Windows that we ship in Europe if our ballot screen proposal is ultimately accepted by the Commission and we stop selling Windows 7 E. Computer manufacturers and our partners also warned that introducing Windows 7 E, only to later replace it with a version of Windows 7 that includes IE, could confuse consumers about what version of Windows to buy with their PCs."

Although Microsoft has already dug the grave for Windows 7 E, dirt can't be thrown until the EU officially signs off on the browser ballot screen idea. (More on that here.)

Marcus Yam
Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.
  • KyleSTL
    BrowSerless. Jeez, I'm not normally one to complain, but seriously.
    Reply
  • Hanin33
    1 version to rule them all!
    Reply
  • Aoster87
    Why did I click on this article?
    Reply
  • um typo "browerless"
    Reply
  • fortmccubble
    It should be "BowserLess"... I can't have him around when I'm jumping through pipes on the internet!
    Reply
  • hellwig
    Browser Ballot screen is the only logical way to go. As many have pointed out, how do you download the browser of your choice without an internet browser to download with? I remember when sites used to offer download through an anonymous FTP server, does anyone do that anymore? Not that the average joe would know how to do that.
    Reply
  • thearm
    I wish MS would ban the use of Windows in Europe.
    Reply
  • Why not the same level of antitrust regulation in regards to the OS? How easy is it to buy a PC with Linux in Europe?
    Reply
  • Pei-chen
    "In the wake of last week’s developments, as well as continuing feedback on Windows 7 E that we have received from computer manufacturers and other business partners, I’m pleased to report that we will ship the same version of Windows 7 in Europe in October that we will ship in the rest of the world."
    What negative feedback? Every American seems to support the idea of browserless for Europe. They picked Socialism so let them feel what living under Socialism is like. Long line outside Internet cafe with black-market Win7 so they can their 10 minutes online.
    Reply
  • AndrewMD
    I think some would like to have a browser-less Windows 7 here in the states. But honestly, why couldn't Microsoft just give them a browser-less version. PC Manufactures like Lenovo and Dell love to load the crapware on their computers any way. It would just be an option on thier website as to which browser a customer wants installed. Just like they currently do with Office, etc.
    Reply