back to article Microsoft to bomb Europe with IE-free Windows 7

Microsoft's approach to packaging of its signature desktop operating system couldn't be much more different than Apple's. Instead of a single, packaged Windows 7, the new operating system - like Windows before it - will see Microsoft segment like crazy with six editions. Unless you're in Europe, in which case you're going to …

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  1. mrweekender
    Alert

    18 versions....

    ....holy crap, have Microsoft finally blown 'em? lol! The CONFUSION starts now....

  2. Phillipa Morrise

    Good God.

    I had trouble keeping up with 'Vista Home Premium Economy Plus' or whatever.

  3. Tom 101

    Two Fingers

    This is Microsoft giving the two fingers to the European Court and to other browser makers. They hope to technically fulfil their commitment to the law, but this is hardly in the spirit of the law!

  4. Mikey 1

    And then the number of bits....

    Does 32bit or 64bit versions double this number again?

  5. David Ouillette 1

    18 Versions is stretching things a bit

    This includes all the possible combinations, most you or I will never see... These include things Like Ultimate, OEM Ultimate, Ultimate E (Only in EU), OEM Ultimate E (Again only in EU)... so right there you have four versions for the same thing... if you live in the EU you will only see Ultimate E on the shelf, not the other three versions of the same thing. So to call this a bit deceptive on the reporting side is to be generous.

  6. Graham Marsden
    Thumb Down

    Oh look...

    ... Total Confusion Marketing from Micro$oft!

  7. Jimbo 7

    MAC

    In general this is really silly, it's not like Firefox or Safari or Chrome are loosing money on Microsoft pre-installing IE. Except one company with tiny 1% of the market, all of the browsers are free and have pretty decent market share (thank you firefox for making amazing browser !!)

    is MAC going to ship without SAFARI as well? no

    Is iPhone going to allow other browser than Safari? nope

  8. Mike OReilly

    Great

    Europeans can now look forward to the hassle of installing IE on their own. Or uninstalling redundant browsers that OEM might ship. Thanks EC!

    Seriously, I find it pretty amazing that EC is getting away with this kind of abuse of authority. For christ sake, how can you claim MS is anti-competitive when so many users are able to download free alternative browsers so easily? EC is a bunch of whining assholes. You european should be ashamed of having them in power. Boy am I glad I live in US.

  9. Jacob Reid
    Thumb Down

    Well, to be honest, that's fucking stupid.

    I use firefox, but I Fdo use IE occasionally, if the copy of windows 7 I buy doesn't have it, first thing I will install after FF and NOD32 is IE.

    Same for Windows media player.

    Also, what about people without internet access via another PC? how are they going to be able to download an installer or whatever for IE/FF?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    Microsoft to bomb Europe with IE-free Windows 7

    Like MS is not going to pressure OEM's to bundle IE

    MS should have been broken up into pieces (perhaps: OS, Office, IE) years ago

  11. Richard Shearn

    Comparison to OSX

    The question that always bothers me is why Apple do not receive the same level of scrutiny. OSX is shipped with Safari and iTunes yet Microsoft have to leave essential parts of the OS out. While it can be argued that a web browser and media player should not be considered as core parts of the OS, they do provide key functionality that users expect out of the box - a philosophy pushed by Apple to the extreme.

    The solution to include other products sounds better, but until Apple is also forced to include other products, and to not install Safari and iTunes by default, the change should not be made. A level playing field is needed, and I for one hate the idea of OEM's including any further non-Windows software as they already fill machines with bloatware that needs to be removed. I always use Firefox, but would go mad if I bought a PC which came with iTunes/RealPlayer/whatever installed on it or asking to be installed.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Halo

    How about?

    Why doesn't Microsoft just ship blank CDs in the box, there is no way they could get in trouble with the EU for bundling then....

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Expect supply chain issues

    Salesman: We don't stock Ns because Microsoft says nobody wants them. You can have a full version now or we can order in an N for you and that will take 3 days.

    Customer: I'll take a regular.

  14. Lewis Mettler 1
    Stop

    remains illegal in the US

    Maybe removing IE makes Windows legal in the EU but US remains subject to illegal practices.

    The US Appellate Court found commingling the code between the OS and IE was in fact a violation of US Antitrust laws. That illegal act was not corrected because the US DOJ wanted Microsoft to establish a monopoly in browser technology. (Only idiots and fools can conclude otherwise).

    And it remains to be seen whether this move by Microsoft permits fair and open competition. Frankly I doubt it will because of the way Microsoft will continue to force the use of IE.

    I guess Bill Gates lied when he testified that IE was bundled because of the need to have a single version of the OS. Now they propose how many versions? Bill Gates is just a known liar. He also claimed that he would not sell their OS unless they can bundle IE.

    And of course that idiot testified that he thought the removal of an icon on a temporary basis corrected the illegal act of commingling the code. Only an idiot would think that. But, Microsoft lawyers actually told no less than three employees including the idiot Gates that they would have to lie and claim the illegal act of commingling was corrected by the ability to temporary remove a few icons. No engineer could possibly be so stupid as to think that. But, it was necessary to lie to the US court system under oath.

    So now we learn that IE can be removed? What? Those idiots claimed that was not possible. Just a big fat lie.

    And now we see even more versions of the OS. Again, it points out intentionally false claims put up by Microsoft so that they could force the sale of IE.

    Just how the OS will be marketed is unclear. But, you can bet Microsoft will be trying very hard to prevent any consumer from having a choice in the matter. Microsoft not bundling IE is just not relevant if the consumer is forced to take it anyway by some OEM.

    Use the acid test.

    Allow the EU to switch browser products under any agreed to solution and see if Microsoft still agrees it is fair and open. No doubt if FireFox or Chrome gets favored treatment like Microsoft will gain for IE, Microsoft would object.

  15. Matthew 4
    Thumb Down

    As much as i hate IE...

    When you start-up windows it IS nice to have A browser to get you started.. Do you have to go to the hassle of booting up another PC now, downloading Firefox then putting it on a flash drive, then installing in on your new pc, all just to get the internet running?

    Though I'm sure it will be a "critical update" to install IE as soon as you plug in your internet connection =D

  16. Dale Morgan

    EU = retarded

    Theres nothing wrong with microsoft shipping their product with their browser, I don't see the EU slamming apple with fines for shipping OSX with safari instead of IE

    Its very easy to stop using IE on a windows box, you just install a different browser

  17. Rohan S.

    Still hung up on editions?

    Are we still stuck on the thing where everyone is freaking out because Windows has too many editions? Really the only versions offered to end users will be Home and Business. Starter is for developing countries only, Basic is a very limited distribution. Ultimate is a special order item only for enthusiasts. Enterprise is only available to enterprise customers.

    The N versions are available in Europe, but again they are a limited distribution that nobody really buys.

    If you actually look at it, Windows XP had more editions: Home, Professional, Tablet, Media Center, Starter, N, K, KN, Embedded, Fundamentals, Enterprise, and two more for subscription computers. But if you went to the store, all you say was Home and Professional.

    It's really not that hard.

  18. Andrew Williams
    Jobs Horns

    Well, just when you thought you'd have to duck a chair...

    Ballmer and Microsoft must be crazy to commit to this, especially as the EC has yet to deliver its ruling on the matter.

    The evil child in me wants the EC to make a ruling which screws this Microsoft decision.

    Ballmer, because he is crazy evil.

  19. Scott 4
    Thumb Down

    How about some more versions?

    So if I have a program that gives me an alternative desktop to Explorer/Aero, why don't the EU force Microsoft to also release a version of windows without a desktop interface, IE or Media Player so then I can use my own? What about the alternatives to Notepad, Calc and Paint? Why don't they get to have a version of Windows released without those already installed.

    If you don't want what Windows is sold with, then just use something that isn't Windows in the first place.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    What the hell??!!

    Back the truck up!!! I want a copy of Euro-Windoze! I have nothing against Microsoft's OS, but I can't stand IE! I can't stand how its integrated into the OS and subsequently I'd really like to have a version of windows completely void of IE. I sure wish they'd offer that as an option in the states...

    I chose Paris because even she thinks IE blows

  21. Richard 74
    Gates Halo

    So let me get this straight...

    Ignoring OEMs for a minute, what if I were to go out and buy Windows 7 (when it's out obviously) over here in the UK. Would it not come with Internet Explorer 8? Meaning that I'd have in theory no browser with which to access the internet? Do Microsoft and Opera and Mozilla and Google give away free browser discs in every damn computing store and supermarket in the country?

    Seriously, what's the point? If it comes with a link to allow you to download IE8, I'm gonna use that, then download Firefox. I'd be incredibly confused if it came with download links for other browsers as well. I mean how many do you offer? Firefox, Opera, Chrome and Safari just for starters. How is someone whos bought it and doesn't know which one is better meant to decide? I know, by picking the one that has a name that ACTUALLY SAYS WHAT IT DOES, like Internet Explorer, as that's bloody obvious what it's used for.

    If it doesn't come with any browsers, I have effectively no internet access on that PC.

    If it does, it's gonna be IE only anyway.

    If it were to come with links to all the others, there's potentially too many and I don't see why Microsoft should have to advertise rival products. Can you see Sony ever saying 'bought a new Sony Bravia TV? Why not try a Samsung DVD player?'. People who don't know better are just going to go for the one that does what it says in the name, and people who do know better would have gone for a different browser anyway...

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    Ist screen after an install...

    Hi, welcome to Microsoft Windows 7.

    Click <here> to install IE 8.

    <OK>

  23. Iggle Piggle
    Alert

    And the others too

    So is the fact that my latest installment of Ubuntu came with Firefox, Open Office, and other applications, also anti-competitive? Or is it only Microsoft that can be considered worth taking to court at the tax payers expense? I am sure that giving the user the option of buying a version without IE or at least choosing not to install it, would have been a reasonable compromise.

    What next? Will it be considered anti-competitive that when I want an application for my shiny new phone I have to go to the manufacturers web site? Perhaps new cars with a gaping hole in the dashboard so we can all go back to choosing our own car radio that is subsequently nicked the next time we leave the car parked for more than 5 minutes?

  24. Charlie Mason
    Paris Hilton

    That what I would have done....

    Don't include a browser and only place a link to the Live suite which will probably include IE now.

    So not only will a lot of people download IE8, the people that didn't give a crap in the first place will now also get the entire live suite which they would otherwise probably have missed.

    From a marketing point of view this is brilliant. From the UK perspective this is probably exactly what they didn't want...

    Paris... cos she outsmarts them all.

  25. Sean Groarke
    Jobs Horns

    Pricing?

    What the article does not tell us is whether there will be pricing differences between the versions. If someone wants basic Windows 7 without the glorious splendour of IE and WMP, does it come cheaper?

  26. David 138
    Thumb Down

    how?

    Without a browser how do you download a browser? be it IE, opera or fireferret.

  27. Nick Mallard

    so no IE...

    and how do we therefore go about downloading our favoured browser, whether its IE, Firefox, Opera or whatever floats your boat? And if it's not IE, assuming we have to get it from Windows Update (if you can get to your router settings to set anything up without a browser) that means we need to download 2 browsers to get the one we want?

  28. This post has been deleted by its author

  29. Danny 5
    Stop

    yeah right

    it wont include the program persé, but obviously IE is going to be included in all of them, as long as there's windows explorer, there's IE and i simply don't believe they've managed to seperate the two. they can *hide* IE, but they cannot remove it without fundamentally altering windows.

  30. Chris Wright 1
    Gates Horns

    interesting...

    It is early morning and I may be missing something but ... say your average home user , who isn't tech savvy purchases a version of windows with no IE ....

    How does he then connect to the internet to download an alternative browser ?

  31. Ali 4
    Thumb Down

    Crazy . . .

    . . . and stupid. MS only need one version, and three questions in the setup:

    1. Are you a business or home user?

    2. Do you want to install Windows Media Player, Internet Explorer and all the other crap we bundle for free in our OS?

    3. If you answered no to question2, please choose which of the following you wish to install:

    [Insert list of browsers, media players and other cool non MS stuff]

    Now what's so difficult with that?

  32. simonlant
    Thumb Down

    How are you supposed to get the rival

    Well if there is no IE installed on a computer with Windows 7, how the heck are you supposed to browse the web to locate your browser of preference, whether is be IE8, Fox, Opera, Chrome etc... Its totally counter intuitive. Think about the poor netbook users who dont have an optical drive, they are totally screwed.

  33. this

    Presumably

    the versions without IE will cost more?

  34. Robin 2
    Thumb Down

    An OS without a browser in 2010? Clever!

    This is just rubbish. If I buy an OS I expect it to be able to play my audio and video files as well as browse the web. Do Apple and the hundreds of Linux variations also have to ship versions without a browser?

    As for the idea of MS preloading Opera, Firefox, Chrome, RealPlayer and VLC on their systems: please no. It's hard enough trying to remove all that trial crap from a PC nowadays. I am with MS all the way here. If Opera or Mozilla are crying foul, maybe they should build their own operating system and sell that just increase their browser market share.

    Far more valuable would be for the courts to compel MS to ship a 100% standards compliant browser. Well it would have been 10 years ago. IE8 is now OK.

  35. Anonymous Bosch

    But wait - are there 64 bit sku and 32 bit skus?

    So lets see, 18 version x 2= 36 versions?

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    Imagine

    Imagine the EU forcing automakers to give consumers the choice of having their competitors components in the cars in the showroom, not very likely you say? Why treat a software maker any different then?

    I'd be much happy if EU forced software makers including microsoft to release bug free products rather than penalising them for creathing successful enterprises.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    How much will I pay...

    How much for a version without Windows? No, really, they need to release "Windows NOT" edition, which is just an expensive box containing a blank 3.5" disk with a boot sector virus and a WGA authentication code that serves no other purpose but to identify the user as a thickie.

    Or does such a thing already exist?

  38. Kasper Loopstra

    No browser?

    On one hand this seems good, but it'll be a pain in home installs, constantly having to look for a USB stick with Firefox before being able to continue the install.

  39. Chris Harries
    IT Angle

    9 Hour install

    I am not one to be an MS fan boy, especially after finding OpenBSD, but I will say this is just ridiculous.

    First off, you will often hear different OS's touting that their OS has some "nice packages installed" with a web browser, text editor, photo editor, cron tools and such like, so MS is just shipping an OS, with a browser so people can get on to the internet. I mean, to the average user, no web browser, how the fuck are they going to get any browser? FTP? Average user? Please wait while my phone rings from every average user friend I have asking how to get a web browser and then scratch my eyes out trying to tell them how to use windows FTP to download a firefox install..oh wait, windows can't use THEIR ftp program, that hurts competition of WS_FTP or cute FTP or WHATEVER FUCKING COMPANY WANTS TO FUCKING MOAN ABOUT THIS.

    Windows 9, now comes with a 9 hour install while you pick which version of every single package you install, choosing between MS and rival versions because everyone has jumped on this bandwagon. do average users really care whether they use WMP or Winamp? I really don't think so, most only have iTunes due to having ipods.

    I am all for choice and having different applications does mean that one virus doesn't take out half the worlds computers, but having applications to allow you to work is part of an Operating System. I see no halm in having a choice built in to windows, and they having now separated IE and Explorer, about time too, but to have editions without things included is just too far for me.

  40. Sampler
    Jobs Horns

    And when do we see..

    OSX without Safari?

  41. John70

    Are they sure...

    ...IE is removed and not just hidden?

    Isn't the rendering engine part of the OS used by the desktop?

  42. Jack Harrer
    Thumb Down

    Stupid

    That's just plain stupid. What is the point of all this? They should rather said that all computers are sold OS-free with easy to use image of chosen OS on DVD. I think it wouldn't be such a problem for customer to put DVD on first boot, isn't it? And then everybody would see how much each OS actually costs...

    All that "sans WMP" and "sans IE" is just a huge waste of time that will do nothing, except create confusion.

  43. Defiant
    Thumb Down

    Notice they leave others alone

    I messed around with Ubuntu the other week and found I couldn't uninstall Firefox so it's interesting that only Microsoft is getting forced to removed the browser from it' own product

  44. N 2 Silver badge

    18 versions

    why 18, surely one is enough?

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh great

    Why not just do a home flavour and a pro flavour like the good old days?

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Only..

    It won't be confusing at all. EU customers will ONLY be able to get the version without IE, meaning that to them, the number of available versions on the market has not visibly increased. The only people who will have to deal with both versions are corporate IT departments, who, realistically should not be confused by Windows SKU's.

    Oh, and just to add some trolling: How many linux distros that all do more or less the same thing are there? Hell, how many *Buntu's are there now? How is that LESS confusing?

  47. Joe Cooper
    Jobs Halo

    Apple

    And of course I'm sure we can trust Apple to not ship Safari with their products, right? And they certainly wouldn't do anything like slip it in an automatic update.

  48. Sasquatch
    Stop

    I just don't get it

    I can't think of any other industry where the market leader is "encouraged" to promote their competition. Why the hell should MS bundle rival browsers or use it's update services to distribute them? It's crazy. It's like expecting Apple to sell (or give away, which tbh they'd pretty much have to) Zunes in their stores. This is business. If other browsers want more users then either find a equally good/better distribution method or make them outperform the competition by a sufficent margin to make people switch.

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sneaky or what??

    I like it - devious to the extreme - by not shippig with a browser the ordinary consumer will not have a clue on how to install one but Windows Update is no longer integrated within IE so Microsoft can either provide as a Critical or Recommended update meaning most users will still install IE anyway but this time by choice - avoiding the pre-install issue.

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Clever move from Microsoft

    I feel this is a very clever move from Microsoft. They undermined the EU position, and upset Opera, at a stroke. I don't see how the EU could now force them to distribute other companies web browsers (Operas fav. option) when they won't even supply their own. The smaller companies will now have to work to get their browser out to customers as they will not be able to easily download it, and it's going to cost them to do this.

    The only downside, is are we going to go back to the days of the AOL coasters being provided with every magazine, newspaper, and coming through the letterbox every few days; so we could install their browser.

  51. David Wood

    No IE, no problem...

    I'll just go to the mozilla/microsoft/opera/google website and download their browser... just fire up my browser first... D'oh!

  52. Ben Bradley

    Hold on

    What about Apple and their bundled Safari and iTunes?

    Do they not need to remove those for the EU market?

    Anyway, yeah that's an insane number of versions.

    I just ignore IE now but there's always that one site which doesn't quite work without it.

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Nothing will really change

    So OEMs will probably still ship IE8, and so normal users won't see any difference.

    People who buy retail copies, who tend to be more hardcore computer users and therefore already probably install an alternative browser, are going to be forced to use the abysmal Windows FTP client to download a browser, rather than using a nice browser interface to do it.

    Once again, the EU proves it values competition over consumers. Well done.

  54. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Oh FFS!

    Why do Microsoft have so many editions of Windows 7? Because of the crappy EC.

    It's one of the most ridiculous competition laws there is. Opera whining that they can't get their user base high enough, aw big friggin shame. Get over it.

    It is like a car company being forced not to include their own stereo system in their car because of other brands missing out, who the f*** would care...really? You can always change it.

  55. Andus McCoatover

    How will Mr. Average Numpty..

    .. download Firefox etc without a browser???

  56. Tzael

    Same rules should apply to all

    How bloody annoying. Will Microsoft offer an edition of Windows 7 for the business market that has IE already bundled so that deployment overheads are kept low?

    Also as Jimbo 7 and Richard Shearn rightly suggest, why are these bundling decisions not adopted by other operating system makers? Surely if it is illegal for Microsoft to bundle a web browser with Windows then it has to be illegal for Apple to bundle Safari with OS X?

    As usual what we see here is a failure to compete. Other companies can't be arsed to embrace true competition so they go whinge in a court room. That's the problem with today's society, lacking in the spine and balls department.

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    How stupid

    Really... what is the point?

    Europe is run by a bunch of idiots.

  58. Jon 59
    Stop

    stupid

    I am not a fan of Microsoft or IE particularly. But EC - just go away will you? The browser written by MS gets to go in the OS written by Microsoft. Its very easy to download alternative browsers later - and looking at increased non IE browser share in webserver logs, this has already been happening. The non techie people who would have the problems doing this get no browser. Nice. UK needs to be out of this EC madness.

  59. Mark 9

    Pointless...

    And as was the was with MediaPlayer-less Vista that Europe had, you would never find it in a store and couldn't actually buy it anywhere.

    This is nothing more than a token gesture by Microsoft to keep the Eurocrats happy. I urge the Eurocrats to make sure this version of Windows 7 is the ONLY version that can be purchased in Europe, otherwise it's a pointless excercise, and Microsoft will ensure it's available as an option, but it's not the main productline, and therefore not the one that stores will stock.

  60. Rob
    Go

    @Richard

    I think the reason they haven't had a go at Apple is that MS has the market share plus no one has raised a complaint at Apple. The browser complaint was raised by Opera and FF and the Media Player complaint was raised by Real.

    If Apple had equal or market share then they would be in the firing line too probably.

    I always hated the EU for messing with MS in regards to it's media player, I mean which freetard uses Real's bloatware, it's flippin shockin.

  61. Daniel 2 Silver badge

    @ Mike OReilly

    Boy am I glad you live in the US too.

  62. Daniel 2 Silver badge

    @Richard Shearn

    "The question that always bothers me is why Apple do not receive the same level of scrutiny"

    Presumably because they don't have >90% share of the desktop OS market. When you get to be that powerful, you get extra scrutiny because steps like bundling a browser can mean that by definition you're being anti-competitive (whereas Apple bundling Safari isn't, because it only affects at most 5% of the market).

    But you're right, it does seem to be a punishment for being successful.

  63. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Well look what happens...

    ....when people force out of date rules on people.

    So will Unbuntu come without Firefox?

    Will Mac come without Safari?

    Nah, guess the guy just has an anti MS hat on.

    Before people leap on the monoploy bandwagon, it's not like 5 years ago, there is a BIG choice now.

    Personally I want everything shipped with my OS. The more I get "free" the better.

    Chances are the N and E versions will go like the last "N"'s. No one will actually buy them.

  64. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    RE: MAC

    @Jimbo 7

    Mac have never had a software monopoly so it's not a fair comparison to make.

    Just because you've got a bee in your bonnet that MS broke the law and are now having to pay.

    I note that you didn't say "Are Sun going to ship Solaris boxes without Firefox"...

  65. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    RE: Comparison to OSX

    Richard Shearn wrote: "The question that always bothers me is why Apple do not receive the same level of scrutiny."

    Answer: Apple don't (yet) have a monopoly on the market. Apple haven't abused that monopoly and been caught. Apple haven't lied about how tightly integrated their OS and browser are. Apple aren't quite as dirty as MS.

    I hope that will suffice.

  66. Lexxy
    Gates Horns

    No browser?

    An operating system without a browser is like the chicken without the egg. How does Mr. average computer user get their given-right-to-choose-a-browser if all their only mechanism for acquiring one will be Microsoft's prescribed:

    Please choose a browser for your computer:

    [X] Internet Explorer 8 (Recommended, Recommended, RECOMMENDED)

    [ ] Firefox 3.5 (May Slow Your Computer Down)

    Perhaps this heralds the return of the PC magazine included CD-ROM?

  67. lIsRT
    Thumb Down

    Eventually...

    There will be more "distros" of Windows than Linux.

    also:

    http://www.penny-arcade.com/images/2007/20070202.jpg

  68. The Original Ash
    Gates Halo

    @Tom 101

    This is exactly what the EU wanted; Internet Explorer- and WMP-free Windows operating systems. Unlike the United States of World Domination, the EU doesn't think its jurisdiction covers the rest of the world. The US, Asia, and Australasia want to bring their own anti-trust case against Microsoft in their specific legal jurisdictions, they're more than welcome.

    To think that you ASSUME that EU directive must be fulfilled world wide just goes to show how much we are brainwashed by the US "The World Is Ours" mentality. Microsoft are complying as well they should, and I commend them for it.

  69. northern monkey

    Any bets...

    ...that come the first patch tuesday it all goes wrong and all 18 editions get patched with the same crap. IE included.

    An accident, of course :)

  70. Dick Middleton
    Jobs Halo

    @Richard Shearn

    > The question that always bothers me is why Apple do not receive the same level of scrutiny.

    Simply because Apple do not have a monopoly. Monopoly is a defined as greater than some % of market share. Problem with monopolists is they have too much market power so they can and do prevent competition, stifle innovation and over-price their products. None of these are good for consumers.

    Some technical stuff here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monopoly

  71. Michael 82
    Coat

    Another reason

    why I hate being part of the EU. Total b0ll0ck$

    18 different versions! WTF!!?!!

    Just provide an option to uninstall IE8 and the EU should be happy with that,afterall its the customers choice!

    Mines the one with the UKIP membership card in the pocket

  72. Duncan Hothersall
    Gates Horns

    @Richard Shearn

    Does this question really always bother you? Because I'd have thought it would take no more than a moment for you to note that Apple does not have a monopoly position under which it habitually controls OEMs, ships a browser which is standards compliant instead of being based on an embrace-and-extend strategy aimed at controlling the web space, and has never been convicted of, and massively fined for, anti-competitive practices on a global scale.

    Windows and OSX are not equivalent in any meaningful way as far as this issue is concerned, and suggestions that they should be treated as such in the interests of fairness are deeply dubious.

  73. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Re: Comparison to OSX

    Please note that you do not have to install Safari or iTunes when installing OSX.. By default they are included on a basic install but it's up to you... that's the difference with the Windows installation.

  74. Dave Murray
    Paris Hilton

    Re: Well, to be honest, that's fucking stupid.

    "Also, what about people without internet access via another PC? how are they going to be able to download an installer or whatever for IE/FF?"

    If a PC doesn't have internet access why would it need a browser?

    If you really need a browser and have access on another PC then you can download the FF installer and burn it to CD / DVD or copy it to flash drive. Simples.

    Who looks stupid now? (Paris obviously)

  75. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apples and oranges

    The complaint against MS is about them using their power as a monopoly to increase their power as that monopoly.

    With IE not spec compliant and on nearly all PCs, spec compliant browsers struggle to gain credibility due to people assuming the sites tailored to IE are correctly written. Thus they blame the other browsers, stop using them. Also, many stick with IE knowing how poor it is because they need access to those sites.

  76. Anthony 13
    Flame

    Re: Well, to be honest, that's fucking stupid.

    Well blame the EU for that one. It is just ridiculous to think an OS in 2009 wouldn't ship with a browser and media player. And it is even more ridiculous to think that a vendor should have to ship competitors' software for them. As Richard Shearn rightly pointed out, Apple does exactly the same thing and nobody gives a fuck.

    The reality is that these non-IE SKUs will never be shipped to anyone. And there's no need for MS to "pressure" the OEMs to choose the IE bundles - because they'd just be fucking stupid not to.

    All I can hope is that the EU got enough from MS in fines to cover the cost of the case. But while they're on it, when are they going to stand up for all those poor developers of Solataire games and Calculators; they are still getting screwed????

    Now excuse me while I burst into self-indignant flames ...

  77. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    cant do right for doing wrong...

    Firefox may well be a better browser and there are other better alternatives to media player but to be honest I dont really care! I just want to get my machine up and running if you dont like IE or WMP then just make then so we can uninstall them.... otherwise I am quite happy to have all the compoents left in.

    Microsoft is just a cash machine for the European courts... "we are running out of cash, I know.. get on to casio and texas instrumnets and tell them we are going after MS to get them to remove Calc, that should give us another $250M to play with, while your at it contact adobe and tell them we are going after MS paint!"

    paris: coz she would like it to be left in.

  78. Bernie 2

    re: Mike OReilly

    "Europeans can now look forward to the hassle of installing IE on their own"

    If it's anything like my experience of trying to install Windows Live Messenger on a Vista Ultimate box, you're right, it will be a massive hassle.

    But seriously, who the hell would opt in to using IE? (assuming they don't keep their update site IE-only, which is what the EU should actually be worried about)

    Here's a simple solution: Microsoft should put a set of icons on the desktop; "Install IE", "Install Firefox", "Install Opera" etc. Let users click one (or several) and delete the rest. Wasn't that easy? You don't even need 18 different versions.

  79. Martyn Welch

    Windows Update

    I guess this means that windows update process has been detached from Internet Explorer? Or has this already happened in Vista?

  80. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    oh well...

    17 other reasons to stick to XP...

  81. Karim Bourouba

    Interesting points

    First up, Tom101 doesnt seem to understand. MS were told they were abusing their system and as a resuly had to remove their browser component from windows. If an OEM wants to install a browser, the choice is theirs. They are also free to choose to install any browser, so complaining this isnt in the spirit of the judgement (not the law) is foolish.

    Now, the point made about the OS not shipping with a browser at all, yes this would be true if it were not bought from a source that bundles a browser with the OS, such as from an OEM. but the point about users with no Internet connection not having a browser? I cant think of many applications that would need a browser and not an internet connection.

    I think my biggest problem with this utterly ridiculous and money wasting judgement is that other OS's are free to continue to bundle either a browser with the software or have browser integration with the shell. Why is it ok for them and not for MS? Why should I have to use FF/Opera etc with Linux and so on. Why is Apple free to push Safari on anyone who has there OS (or itunes for that matter).

    grr.

  82. Joe Montana
    Flame

    Who cares?

    End users will not receive a computer without a browser, no OEM will ship a computer which doesn't include one. The only people who will get a version of windows without a browser, are those who are tech savvy enough to install one themselves... Windows is hardly the easiest OS to install, and even with a browser bundled in, is still pretty useless on its own. People installing it will just add a browser to the long list of other apps they have to install before windows becomes useful for anything.

    As for Apple, they don't receive the same level of scrutiny because they are smaller and cannot wield an unhealthy level of influence over the industry. You can quite safely ignore Apple, many people don't even know they exist or don't realise they make computers. MS on the other hand are impossible to ignore, even the most die hard of linux or mac users will sometimes be faced with proprietary file formats, protocols or applications that are tied to windows.

    Incidentally, noone is saying MS should unbundle mobile-ie from windows mobile, for the same reason as apple, their influence over the cellphone market is small enough that it doesn't matter.

    "Europeans can now look forward to the hassle of installing IE on their own. Or uninstalling redundant browsers that OEM might ship. Thanks EC!" - much like existing users are faced with uninstalling a redundant copy of ie, which is not made easy.

  83. Len Goddard

    Windows update

    the only thing I use IE for is windows update. Are they going to make that work on non-IE browsers, provide a standalone updater or just say tough luck to anyone who doesn't want IE on their machine?

  84. rustychuck

    Unfair

    Microsoft are out there to make money....why should they ship other browsers with their software?!!! It's yet again political correctness gone mad! Apple are allowed to ship Safari, Itunes and Quicktime with their OS so why is it different for Microsoft?? It's just that the competition is too crap to put up a fight!!

  85. Nigel 11

    Can we un-install IE if we get it anyway?

    Does this mean that we'll be able to un-install IE should our OEM choose to ship it? (That is, un-install it simply and reliably? Without breaking anything that *is* an essential bundled part of Windows? )

    And will Windows 7 be free from important products (such as Windows Update) that won't work without launching IE?

  86. Gerry

    @Mike O'Reilly

    "Seriously, I find it pretty amazing that EC is getting away with this kind of abuse of authority. For christ sake, how can you claim MS is anti-competitive when so many users are able to download free alternative browsers so easily?"

    When and where did you study law? In which jurisdiction do you practice?

    Just wondering

  87. Leo Maxwell
    Jobs Horns

    And how will they install firefox?

    If they have no working browser, will they have to download and install IE8 using Windows update or other mechanism, before they can download and install Firefox or Opera?

    And will it then be possible to Uninstall IE8 afterwards?

    I don't think so somehow.

  88. Paul Docherty
    Paris Hilton

    @ David Ouillette

    Exactly. There's been loads of MS-hating from the IT media about the number of version of Win7, but there was also a huge variety of WinXP editions. Except most only saw Home, Pro and Media Center Edition... so there was hardly any confusion at all.

    I'm sure MS would be happier to sell us all copies of some Ultimate Pro Plus version for £300 anyway.

    Paris, cause it's going to take her a while to figure out how to get 'blue e internet button' working...

  89. Nick Pettefar

    Level Playing Field

    Microsoft has such a large share of the market that it attracts criticism and rulings alone. OSX and Linux, Solaris, BSD, etc. are minority players. If, for example, a company's distribution of Linux was similarly all pervasive and included only one media player and browser then it would too be in the same situation.

    I agree that Apple is Safari-centric which I think is weird and counter-productive. I would run Safari if they would remove the bloody Google search box from the address bar and all the Firefox add-ons would work but until then I will stick with Firefox.

    (Firefox on a Mac is a bloated RAM devouring and leaking performance crippler. If it wasn't free and vital I would send the bugger back.)

  90. Mull
    Gates Horns

    NE!

    What about a version that has neither IE nor WMP? I am a knight that says NE!, and I want my Windows 7 Ultimate NE, dammit!

  91. Geoff Campbell
    Coat

    @Mike OReilly

    Yeah, 'cos you Americans have done *so* well with your choice of leaders recently....

    Love and kisses,

    Your former rulers

  92. Nick 11
    Paris Hilton

    Gahhhh

    Great, something else our engineers need to remember to add to a PC image. We standardised on IE because we knew it would be on all of our desktops. Now there's the risk that we'll end up with diverged platforms and the nightmare of CSS. Thanks Europe for getting them to remove it. Thanks to Microsoft for writing non-compliant browsers (but at least they were consistently bad). Why can't they just have a tick box on install that says do you want IE or not?

    Or, just have two SKU's, priced the same, one with added IE and advertisied as such. Joe Public will buy the one with added extra's every time (provided they read the box).

  93. Iain Gibson
    Flame

    I think the EC should get involved in more of this...

    Seriously, I want to be able to buy a Volkswagen car but don't see any reason why I shouldn't be able to get a BMW idrive system installed from the dealer. Surely this is perfectly acceptable.

    The whole EC Microsoft is a mess, why bother pursuing this. As pointed out above, this is unique to Microsoft. Why should they split up the product? Does this mean all linux distros that are pre-installed should not include any extra features.....apple....the list goes on.

  94. Paul 87

    WTF?

    I mean seriously, is it THAT hard for MS to embrace the modern era and simply offer Windows 7 as a complete product and then sell their other bits and pieces seperately (Windows App store anyone?).

    Instead of getting a one off, up front wodge of wonga, they could then get a nice steady trickle of cash each and every day from people installing Windows. Not to mention the OEM partners could then have an even simpler time of things, by having one disc to install regardless.

  95. Jon Tydda
    IT Angle

    Um...

    I know it's a stupid question, but without bundled IE, how are you supposed to get online to download these other browsers?

    Or did I miss something?

  96. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    At Tom 101

    Who really cares? If users are incapable of installing another browser (or media player) then they are too thick to be offerec the choice.

    This is all about un-competitive minor players whinging that they can't gain a foothold on a market. And about the EU suddenly thinking it has half a clue about IT. The politicians should stick to fiddling their expenses and leave IT to us professionals.

  97. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    How?

    But MS have told us time and time again that IE is part of the operating system and that it cannot be removed, that the HTML rendering engine and so on are a core part of the OS. But apparently now they get threatened with not being able to sell W7 it suddenly is very easy to do.

    Also does that mean that updating W7 does not need IE? If so isn't that a major change that they basically told us was impossible.

    Either way its MS bullshit.

  98. Alex Connor
    Gates Halo

    hahahaha!

    I'm not one for loving microsoft, but this is a damn fine move on their part! I'm looking forward to seeing what the EU will say about this, hopefully they will come to their senses and realise that they're being idiots about the IE thing.

    Isn't mozilla not-for-profit anyways?? so does it matter about market share or whatever?? i don't think so.

  99. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Richard Shearn and Jimbo 7

    I think (and others may correct/clarify) that IE effectively is part of Windows OS and therefore cannot be readily uninstalled and that's why some felt MS was 'forcing' a browser onto them. I believe you can remove Safari app. from Mac OSX without affecting the OS.

    Anyone care to confirm or correct?

    Anon - as I should know for sure.

    And I agree with others here, MS should just make one client version of Windows ( and if I am right above), have IE as an optional app which installs by default, but you don't have to have it if you really don't want it.

  100. Marc Savage

    What will happen is...

    Microsoft will charge 20% more for the E version then say to europe, look see people want the browser version.

  101. Schroeder Washere

    The handle policy at work

    Thanks El Reg, for making tracking of the shrills much easier. I see they're already hard at work, posting Microsoft's current memes - 'How do you install another browser without IE', and 'Oh why are Apple allowed to get away with something similar?'

    Of course I'm sure a number of others will point out the obvious answers to these strawmen, but no doubt the shrills will try and drown them out, after all they get paid to do it.

    All I will say is, this is supposed to be a professional IT site, boys and girls, and you really shouldn't be posting if you can't think of three EASY ways of getting an application (which is all a browser is anyway ) onto a non technical users PC without using a browser, or if you don't understand the concept of monopoly abuse, something UK Money users have just had underlined to them...

  102. Toastan Buttar

    Re: Two fingers

    "They hope to technically fulfil their commitment to the law, but this is hardly in the spirit of the law!"

    How does this differ from the spirit of this particular case ? The EC wanted MS to stop bundling IE because they deemed it anti-competitive to other browser creators and stop bundling Windows Media Player because it was anti-competitive towards other media player creators. At least MS are allowed to provide their own kernel, GUI and TCP/IP stack (so far !).

    Or maybe they should be forced to offer a choice of Linux distros on the same disk as Windows ? This gets more surreal by the day.

  103. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Answer me this...

    Why all the fuss about what browsers come with an OS?

    IE, Chrome, Firefox plus all the rest - They are all free! What difference does it make which one I use or which one is included with an OS.

    How come it's such a big issue?

    Serious question...I just don't get it.

  104. Brian Whittle

    THe EEC can kiss my *****

    AS a person who lifes in Europe I wonder if they have nothing better to do.

    I take it they wll just ad IE and media player to the live installer downloader thas on the start menu so the first thing you will have to do is spend half an hour downloading and installing the missing bits.

    Hours is you are one of the poor souls ob dialup

  105. Gavin M
    IT Angle

    No browser to download a browser?

    So, if I want to get onto the internet using a Euro version of Windows 7, I just need to browse onto the internet and download IE8... With what?!

    Isn't Win7 just going to have an "internet access wizard" which will suggest downloading IE8 as soon as I load it up anyway? If not, God help the IT illiterate trying to get onto the web with their new PC and new O/S.

  106. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Jimbo 7

    Quote: "Is iPhone going to allow other browser than Safari? nope"

    Um, they already do and have done for a long time - arguably since day one of the App store as many apps included integrated web browsers (e.g. NetNewsWire). A small spattering of the multitude of browsers you can get on the iPhone:

    iCab mobile (the best browser on any mobile platform by a long, long way)

    VanillaSurf

    Fullscreen browser

    Oceanus browser

    Elitebrowser

    Journey Web browser

    Big browser

    Mobichip safe browser

    iBrowse 2

    ... plus many, many more.

  107. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Halo

    Great

    I love it. Have always been siding on MS with this one. The big finger to the EU.

    And without ANY browser loaded, how are non-technical people supposed to get Firefox/Opera on their system? Maybe when people start complaining that they need a browser bundled with their OS then the EU will finally get a clue.

    Brilliant.

  108. Matt 110
    Gates Halo

    This is just so stupid

    As much as I hate IE and think it should be purged from the face of the earth, the EC's ruling was total ridiculous.

    When the average user buys a computer, they expect it to work out of the box - this is exactly why Windows is becoming so bloated. You also have to consider that most people don't know the difference between a browser and the internet. Ok, this may be because IE has always been integrated into Windows, but without it, the net probably wouldn't have taken off.

    I don't see how providing access to the web, which lets face it, is the average users main reason for having a PC, can be anti-competitive... especially when IE and the vast majority of the competition are free! This is like buying a TV or monitor, only to find that it has no panel because its considered AC for a manufacturer to put their own (or preferred) panel in. Or a stereo coming without speakers. A car without an engine. A Mac without £2000 worth of white plastic.

    In addition to this, not including any browser at all is just plain stupid. How did the EC expect people to download an alternative browser? Oh? By installing IE first!

    Although I agree with alot of the M$ hate, they are subject to random pointless crap just because they are more pervasive than other software companies. Do OSX and the iPhone OS include Safari? Can you even install an alternate browser on an iPhone? I hate how phones like the iPhone can be tied down to a certain network, but someone wastes their time to make sure that Windows doesn't ship with a browser.

  109. Annihilator
    Coat

    Haven't thought this through

    "EU triumphs in win over Microsoft"

    Hugh Jass, spokesman for the EU, today welcomed the news that Microsoft is to strip out Internet Explorer (again) from a special limited edition of Windows. Mr Jass gave a statement saying: "Today we have escaped from the dominant grip of a Microsoft browser. We believe that the statistics showing Internet Explorer's share of the market dropping ever quarter for the last 4 years is entirely due to this announcement today. We will next set out to prove that the Beatles ripped off Oasis."

    When asked what he thought the impact on consumers would be, Mr Jass replied "We now know that the users are free to use any browser they like. When they first buy their computer, they can simply go onto the Internet and download the browser of their choice." When asked how the user could download this browser without first having a browser, Mr Jass remarked "I dunno, maybe Dell or someone can load one on as part of the bumf they put on".

    Mr Jass said that the EU would now be turning its attention to the disgraceful way that Microsoft included a clock application on the taskbar.

  110. Ru
    Stop

    Who cares about OSX?

    This whole thing is about microsoft and its dominant market position. Apple's market share is simply far too small to be relevant in this situation. On the offchance that apple somehow gain 80% of the PC OS market, I'm sure they can be expected to get a slap from the EC too.

    As for being ashamed of the EC, I remain pleasantly surprised that for all their incompetence, wastefulness and bureaucracy (traits they share with any other governing body) the desires of big business do not take precedence over everything else. The same cannot be said for the US.

  111. Anonymous Coward
    Linux

    Software testing

    One of Window XP's advantages over Linux was ease of testing software.

    Testing under Linux you have many many distros and distro versions to test against. A diligent tester would also test different desktops (KDE/Gnome/etc), and different language configurations.

    With XP, you only had to test under Windows XP Home and Windows XP Pro, and maybe against Windows 2000/98SE/ME. If you were diligent you'd test with different service packs and versions of IE installed, and different languages.

    Testing against Vista or 7 would be harder - there are far more versions to test with. And this is multiplicative with all the combinations that were being tested before...

  112. RichyS
    Gates Horns

    Re.: Comparison to OS X

    On the face of it, I think it does look a little awkward that Apple can 'get away' with bundling iTunes and Safari with OS X. However, I think there are a couple of key differences.

    Firstly, with the Mac, Apple do not have a market position to abuse. Apple bundling Safari does not automatically mean that 80-90% of the world's Internet users browse via Safari. At best, Apple will get around 8-10%. We have seen the affects of this with IE in that most websites are developed for MS's view of the web, not a standards compliant way. This further creates barriers to entry to other browser developers.

    Secondly, iTunes and Safari are simply applications that sit on top of the OS (media management and a web browser are not parts of an OS, however much MS pretend they are). Microsoft developed IE and (to a lesser extent) WMP to be tied to the OS. If you tried to uninstall IE from most versions of Windows, you'd break the OS. There is nothing wrong with the application making use of components of the OS (say an HTML rendering engine, or media codec playback engine), but I should be able to buy/download any other application that has the same access to those components.

    I tend to agree with you that Apple may be in danger of abusing it's position with Safari on the iPhone/Touch though. But, that is only looking at 'smartphones'. Taking all mobile devices into account, and we have a very healthy and competitive market. Figures from StatCounter taken in May this year show that Opera took 24.6% of the worldwide market compared to 22.3% for Apple. Nokia retains third place with 17.9%.

  113. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Mark9

    You want the morons of the EU to force us to accept a castrated runt OS rather the then fully functioning version? The average user is not able to install and maintain the alternative operating systems nor, more importantly, do they want to. They just want to press the button on the front and access the internets.

    No amount of EU bollocks nor geeky whining will change that. The people that know what they're doing will make informed choices about OS/Browser/media player but Joe Public just wants it to work.

    All the EU inteference will achieve is an over complicated market that will confuse them and the average user all the more. Corporate users will still get the all singing, all dancing 'Enterprise' versions with all the add-ons so the users will be disappointed when their home versions have bits missing.

    The Eu needs to wind in its neck and just get its nose out of IT

  114. AlfieUK

    Several reponses...

    Firstly, the browser itself is not responsible for downloading, it is a UI for web access. The underlying libraries are part of Windows Explorer (explorer.exe) and I don't see how MS can remove those without destroying the functionality of all browsers.

    For example, you can uninstall IE on an XP machine and still access Microsoft Update through 'rundll32.exe muweb.dll,LaunchMUSite' (although the Window created is still branded IE which could be removed and make it look like any other Windows Explorer window).

    A similar method can be used to provide links to other browsers so the user can click on a link and it will download and install that browser, or browser providers are going to have to start supplying install discs again (which is an additional cost to them).

    Secondly, this ruling also doesn't look like it will stop MS pushing new versions of IE out via Microsoft Update, for instance IE8 is currently being auto-selected as a high-priority update in MU. As I use an older version for compatibility testing I don't like it trying to force an upgrade on me.

    @Richard Shearn: Similarly, Apple are still pushing out Quicktime and Bonjour as required components with iTunes updates on the PC (having to install then disable all Apple's un-needed software each update is a pain), and occasionally sneak Safari in to be 'updated' even if it isn't already present on the system. On the Mac they are all pre-installed.

    Apple have been criticised for this but are allowed to get away with it as they are not considered a monopoly.

    Web page designers NOT coding around IEs issues would have helped kill of IE in the past, but not having any browser in a new install is just going to frustrate the PC-illiterate, and they'll likely hit the big 'get IE' button on their desktop first thing.

  115. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Shrills

    The word is "shill", FFS.

  116. TeeCee Gold badge
    Flame

    RIGHT!

    I'll be importing a copy then so I don't get the EU-b0rken version.

    I'd like to think that enough people will follow suit that the chair-polishing, IT-illiterate, overpaid, graft-addicted fuckwits in Brustrasllesbourg will be treated to a lynching by pissed-off software vendors, but I'm under no illusions here.

    If I want to install another browser (and I do - several actually), I'd like to do it in my own sweet fucking time once I've got the thing up, stable and app ready and not as a critical part of the build process so I can fetch driver updates et. al. thanks.

    One thing I will definately do is vote for the most extreme right-wing bunch of 'tards I can find at the next Euro-poll. I can see from the hand-wringing over the recent results how much it pisses off the bien-pensant tossers in Euroland every time the gibbering nazis get a vote.

  117. Znort666

    Oh dear me...

    still people go on about Apple and Safari... Safari is not the same as IE, core parts of IE were required for the OS to function, you COULD NOT remove IE fully from your PC without causing problems with the OS...is this the same with Safari??? Simple answer...NO.

    As for all the naysayers harping on about not having a browser out of the box, surely Mozilla and others would be wise to put their respective browsers on a CD and either send them out on the front on various PC magazines or even have PC world and the likes burn various ones(including IE) onto CD's and have them placed around the store or at the Service desk where you purchase/collect your shiny new box.

  118. Schroeder Washere

    @AC 10:34

    I take it you don't find all the badly thought out rantings of Microsofts paid cadre on the two current bundling stories excruciating to read?

    I find reading them is like listening to a 5 year old child screaming for a new toy.

    They were 'shills' when they had reasoned arguments and could have possibly had a defensible position on the topic. Now they're 'shrills' because all they do is rant 'Nooooooooooo, baddddd EU, now dare you treat a convicted monopolist like they're a convicted monopolist'

    I'm beginning to wonder if they're the same astrotufers that the UKIP employ to flood out the BBC's Have Your Say, as they appear to have the same fleeting grasp on reality.

  119. Steven Snape
    Happy

    This is pretty funny stuff...

    Its like a South Park christmas with all offending the items removed, but with Windows instead.

    Give the complainers what they ask for and see how much they enjoy the end result.

  120. Robin 2
    Gates Halo

    Also, who cares about Real Player

    Does anyone actually use RealPlayer? The last few times I've tried to install it essentially tried to take over my system and make RealPlayer the default for everything, autostart it on login and push a bunch of ads at me without my consent. That was about 3 years ago. I'm never going to install that one again....

  121. The First Dave Silver badge
    Boffin

    Apple / OSX

    @Richard Shearn and others

    1.) Most people think that this is a pointless thing for Microsoft.

    2.) Apple make it extremely easy to remove both Safari and iTunes from an OSX machine, if you don't want them - a single drag to the waste-bin and they are gone. Completely.

    3.) The alternatives on OSX are the most numerous of any platform - FireFox and its OSX-Native sibling Camino, Opera if you are a real masochist, Safari, iCab and loads of other small players, in fact anything but IE (where have I heard that phrase before) and even that was present in the first few versions, before MS stopped support.

  122. James O'Brien
    Unhappy

    Oh common

    What was wrong with my comment? Seriously?

    (If this gets posted twice sorry net went wonky)

  123. Futaihikage

    @ The First Dave

    Bingo! That was the entire issue in the beginning, that Microsoft decided to have Internet Explorer latch and intertwine with a lot of the operating system functions. Apple's browser doesn't do that, it can be easily removed. Uninstalling Internet Explorer from Windows may cause system instabilities. Microsoft should have uncoupled Internet Explorer from Windows and left it that way. Internet Explorer would have still maintained its majority share and the base system code would be reduced. Oh well... so much for common sense.

  124. Wolf 1
    Stop

    OK, here's the deal

    Most of the posters here are completely clueless about what MS is going to do.

    1. MS is NOT going to sell the normal version of Win 7 in Europe, it's the E versions ONLY. You *ARE NOT ALLOWED* to buy the version of Windows 7 the rest of the world will be using.

    2. MS is going to pull IExplore.exe (and its associated files like help etc) from Win 7. This is the "browser" called Internet Explorer.

    3. Trident (the rendering engine), Java (the Sun version), and all the other things that render the net are STAYING in Win 7. This means third party software that uses Trident will still work, Java apps will still work, etc.

    4. OEMs will be installing the browser (or browsers) *they* want. So if you buy a new computer from someone else you WILL have a browser already installed. Perhaps more than one. IE *could* be one of them, but IE will be free to the OEM just like Firefox is now. There's no financial incentive to include (or exclude) IE.

    5. If you buy a retail version (Home E, Pro E) then you do NOT get a browser AT ALL. However, MS will offer CD's to install IE 8 *SEPARATELY*.

    So, in summary, Europe is only allowed the E versions, MS will not allow non-E versions into Europe. The E version is identical to the Non-E version except for the lack of Iexplore.exe (and a couple of support files). New computers will come with whatever damn browser(s) the manufacturer pleases. There's a CD for retail versions (available seperately for free) if you want IE.

    Now, carry on. :)

  125. Giles Jones Gold badge

    Difference with Apple and Firefox is....

    Safari is available for Windows and OSX. Firefox is available for Linux, Windows and OSX.

    Guess which OS IE is available for? just the one, Windows. Unless you want to run IE 4 which was available for OSX.

  126. pammy
    Flame

    But you cannot do an in-place upgrade!

    WIn 7 E Setup cannot be used to do an in-place upgrade from Vista - so the only way to upgrade a Vista system in Europe is to boot from the DVD and do a CLEAN INSTALL!!!!

  127. ThungurKnifur
    Thumb Down

    Astroturfers 'en masse'

    My God, I've never seen so many stupid comments on a messageboard before!

    Seriously Microsoft, if you're gonna astroturf, at least make it look A LITTLE like it's the usual crowd at the sight commenting.

    Not like here, where the average age seems to be 14 and the average IQ just below that.

    For you stupid wankers who don't understand how to install a browser on a machine WITHOUT a browser, I'd have to say you're either astorturfers or PISS POOR IT TECHNICIANS! (ever heard of a USB stick? or CD-rom?)

    And for the whiny lot claiming that "Apple should be punished because MS is", I'd say look up the fracking definition of MONOPOLY, and then go hang your heads in shame.

    Unless you're an astroturfers then you can go home proudly knowing you've made the world a less honest place. Yay!

    If you ask me, Judge Jackson made the right call in ruling that Microsoft should be broken up into one OS company and one application company.

    To bad Dubbya Bush was bribe........... uh received campaign contributions from Microsoft and ordered the DoJ to grab their ankles and take it hard and long from Gates and Ballmer.

    Compare what the Judge ordered (breakup into 2 separate companies) and what the DoJ and Microsoft negotiated (removing the IE icon from the desktop) and then come back and tell me the the Bush DoJ wasn't bought and paid for.

  128. Wortel
    Flame

    And still

    ..more fools not reading the actual article's contents. People, get a grip! stop making yourself sound like a broken record.

    Microsoft is a global monopoly on the desktop PC market, laws are in place to put the brakes on malpractice within monopolies, MS broke the laws, they have to pay the price.

    EC has not even finalised the case, yet Microsoft feels it can get away with this pre-emptive stroke of 'Nya nya i'll just do whatever I goddamn like and you can't stop me' arrogance. Well tell you what, they will just get sued and sued again until they learn that circumventing the law is illegal.

    Get over it!

  129. Martin Nicholls Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Where's My Minority Report?!?

    I should probably precede this by saying I'm a Windows user who doesn't use IE but this this whole saga is kinda absurd.

    BUT:

    To all the guys asking about Apple/Safari, the answer is simple, the EUCC would reply that they don't do pre-crime. They'd say Apple aren't abusing their position /yet/. Thought I'd just say that so people can understand it, not that I agree with what is undoubtedly the position.

    They totally are abusing their position with iTunes though, something should be done about that. Monopoly doesn't even begin to describe the apple/ipod/iphone/itunes combo.

    The whole Microsoft thing is a bit of a joke though, it's getting to the point where it looks like what it probably is [I'm an EU citizen, and I can see this]: a trade war under a legal framework.

    First it was Boeing, now it's Microsoft, next year it'll be Ford or somebody.

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