EU to Get Windows 7 without IE
Responding to the European Commission’s antitrust concerns, Microsoft has reportedly removed Internet Explorer from the Windows 7 versions it is shipping to Europe. The browser will now be provided as a free standalone application.
News about a browser-less Windows 7 for Europe hit the news services after an internal Microsoft memo found its way out. Directed at PC manufacturers, the memo states that Europe will be receiving a special version of the OS codenamed “Windows 7 E”, which will not include Internet Explorer.
“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,” the memo informed.
The move comes as a surprise since the Commission’s concern was about Microsoft not offering enough alternatives; instead Microsoft has decided to take away even the single one available with the OS. Responding to the news, the Commission has issued a statement saying it wants Microsoft to provide multiple browser options in the OS.
The OS manufacturer is unlikely to do this and so Windows 7 E buyers in Europe will have to comprehend with a browser-less system. The only option left open to them if they wish to connect to the internet is to first download a browser of their choice and then go ahead with Windows 7 installation.
With IE removed from Windows 7, European users will also no longer be able retain all their settings and upgrade to this version from earlier Windows installations. Instead, they will have to do a clean install, breaking their original Windows.
Microsoft reportedly also has plans of yet another version, Windows 7 “N” for the European Union, which will be missing Windows Media Player. This version too is the result of an EU antitrust ruling. All said and done, it is the end-users that will have to suffer on account of the tussle between the European Commission and the OS manufacturer.
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