The European Commission is doing the runaround with Microsoft again, claiming that the company has violated European rules with the inclusion of IE on their newer operating systems. The EC, restating claims made numerous times over the past few years, says that Internet Explorer being the de-facto choice for Windows is harmful to innovation and reduces choice. As a result, they are looking at removing IE from Windows
for release in the EU.
The EC's solution to the problem is for Microsoft to offer a version of Windows with IE removed, a mirror solution of forcing Microsoft to pull Windows Media Player from a special version of Windows a while ago. Back then, Microsoft offered both the original version and the modified version side by side – and found that people preferred the original version, regardless of what the EC felt. That may be the situation again, as even if the EC forces Microsoft to offer a non-IE version of Windows, Microsoft is apparently still given the right to release a full version as well.
Nothing is final just yet, but it is obvious at this point, with IE still being part of Windows by default, that Microsoft has no interest in making IE an uninstallable module.