Windows 7 will ship without IE in the EU

By on June 11, 2009, 3:28 PM
Microsoft has announced today that its latest version of Windows won't include Internet Explorer in the EU. Their decision to yank IE comes just before the European Commission is due to rule on the pending antitrust suit. According to a company memo, Microsoft’s actions are an attempt to ensure compliance with European law.

Throughout the recent antitrust debacle, Opera, Mozilla and Google have complained that bundling IE with Windows is harmful to competition. This is obviously debatable, to say the least. In the very market being questioned, Firefox 3 held 35% versus IE7’s 34%, for starters. Microsoft also took a step in the right direction by permitting the removal of IE8 in Windows 7.

Naturally Redmond has defended its browser up until this point, calling it an integral part of the operating system, but I guess this time they rather take a preemptive move to avoid big fines. Computer vendors are still likely to pre-install IE8 or at least one other browser before distribution; but European users upgrading to a browser-less Windows 7 will have to deal with the additional steps and inconvenience of downloading their preferred browser from a separate machine or previous Windows installation.




User Comments: 40

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Jibberish18 said:

You know, I hope Microsoft does everything it can to direct people to download Internet Explorer 8 as this is crap. They should also make them strip it of Windows Defender for obvious reasons.

Jibberish18 said:

Oh and they should also tell Apple to stop packing OSX with Safari.

Badfinger said:

Drama over having to download and install a browser, give me a break.

IE has sucked for a long time, if I have to use it, I use Green Browser (freeware mod).

Safari 4.0 is very fast, but sites like Pogo don't currently work with it, ditto for Chrome.

Opera 10 beta is pretty slick!

Firefox 3.5 is OK, getting a little slow in comparison.

Try them all, stick with your favorite.

Wendig0 Wendig0, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Jibberish18 said:

Oh and they should also tell Apple to stop packing OSX with Safari.

Yet seeing as how Apple is a proprietary entity, I don't quite think that will happen. They aren't subject to the same anti-trust lawsuits that microsoft is.

mailpup mailpup said:

So how will Europeans use Windows Update to install security updates without IE? Will Microsoft change the update site so browsers other than Internet Explorer will work because that's not the case now?

yukka, TechSpot Paladin, said:

windows update already works in vista without using IE as such. you dont go to a webpage like in windows xp.

in theory if silverlight is truly cross-browser compatible, MS will just concentrate on making the Microsoft site use that and let people get on with it.

Personally I will still download internet explorer. I dont use it now as home as I use Firefox but I dont have a massive issue using it and sometimes its useful to test pages or access incompatible sites. Sometimes its useful to just run a website "vanilla" rather than the anti scripting/flash tools that i have installed in firefox.

I wonder how Microsoft will get the browser out to people without web access. Some programs will rely on a web browser and if the OS doesnt come installed with one, how do you get one on there anyway..

in fact... how does anyone get one on there unless they already have a copy of a browser on disk?

yukka, TechSpot Paladin, said:

yukka said:

in fact... how does anyone get one on there unless they already have a copy of a browser on disk?

Quoted for stupidity. This was mentioned in the article.

By the way, I downloaded safari 4 today and it doesnt have the funky fonts and smoothness that appear on my macbook. Thats the only reason i would use it above firefox but it just uses standard fonts and no smoothing. Pretty much binned for me.

luvhuffer luvhuffer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

So how will Europeans use Windows Update to install security updates without IE? Will Microsoft change the update site so browsers other than Internet Explorer will work because that's not the case now?
If you download the FF add-on IETab [ [link] you can access the update page without using IE. Works in XP and 7. There is also an icon on the bottom of the FF window that allows you to change to the IE view and back to FF for any web site. There is no longer any reason to use IE in XP anymore. I use it in 7 as well. It's just easier to access the update page from a bookmark than navigating through the garbage that is 7's start menu. (actually after spending several hours figuring where everything on the start menu was stored, I've managed to get it to where I don't consider it as garbage anymore).

Guest said:

Surely just making it removable is enough? Having to have another comp to download a browser separately is going to be a pain for some people. Also removing IE doesn't really make other browsers more available if people want an alternate browser they will get one. I'm no IE fan but this is going too far in my opinion.

SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

Quoted for stupidity. This was mentioned in the article.

Props for making fun of yourself, but it is a bit unclear - in the TS one it indicates you need another PC. In the original article its even less clear, but maybe indicates they'll provide it on CD for you.

Doing that though is just a huge pain in the ***, I hope the EU decision makers have to deal with this personally. As has been said, just make it removable, needing to install IE to dl another browser, or needing to have another browser on disk or flash drive is just a big inconvenience.

luvhuffer luvhuffer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Well, if I was a retailer I'd offer a free 2GB flash drive with each purchase loaded with all the popular freeware browsers. Kind of like a toy with your happymeal! Then I'd be sued by the EU commissioners for unfair sales tactics.

complexxL9 complexxL9 said:

it would be most logical to have an option while installing/upgrading to win 7 if you want to install IE or not.

JudaZ said:

So how are you goin to access the web? How are you going to download firefox if you want that without a web browser? Are they going to include a ftp client? (besides textbased version). IE you will of course get with windows update, but if you dont want to use that at all, how are you going to solve that?? .. Firefox and others complaints hare rediculus, the EU ruling is insane. So if i make an OS, i can include my products??? How come Linux ships with mozilla? How can that be allowed? ... I dont care if people like IE or not, but forcing a company to remove one of their products from one of theit other products is hardly sane. If you dont like IE, dont use it...but with IE you can easy get another browse, hardly damages firefox, it rather improves their chanses instead. ...I know a lot of our customers that hardly know how to turn on a computer will get big problems with this decision to exclude IE. ...they usually understand how to use IE to get firefox...but now?

Guest said:

awww yes... nerdy guys on youtube complaining.. no bashing windows vista.

tell me something Mr. "i use for normal daily use"

do you have a screen saver that DOESNT work due to the Microsoft wireless mouse issue (MS admits in their knowledge base website that there is no work around for this which includes MS wireless mouse, AND logictec wireless mouse causing screensavers not to work... look it up) AND do you have to manually hit ctrl alt shift at user login and manually run "explorer.exe" just to get your start menu, desktop background and icons to show (another known bug that MS claims to have a fix but doesnt fix the problem at all. Infact doing a google search on this subject comes up with over a million results a month ago)?

I can tell you that I use my HP vista laptop for "normal" use such as internet... and that's it. Nothing was installed on the computer just the normal HP crap (which really is pretty decent now days compared to my 2005 hp laptop).

Oh and lets not forget I can't view anything in full screen.

Yea... Vista sucks, and im not even close to being like the nerds on youtube bashing vista.

If computerworld.com is saying 7 is all that plus a bag of beans, then im game.... BUT like all OS's i'll wait a good year or two before buying the upgrade for my selfbuilt desktop. As for the laptop, i'll plead to HP to give me the upgrade from vista 64bit to 7 64bit.

Guest said:

I don't totally agree with this. Windows 7 installation should include an advanced button where a user can pre install a browser from Windows Update. There should be a list of all major browsers including:

Internet Explorer,

Mozilla Firefox,

Google Chrome,

Safari,

Opera.

When the user selects an option or selects many options, the installer should detect internet connection and connects with Windows Update. From there the latest version of the selected browsers will be installed. Upon Windows 7 setup is complete you should have all the selected browsers already installed on the system.

That is a major step forward that Microsoft should include in the installation of Windows 7.

I hope this suggestion is heard from all Microsoft related staff.

Mictlantecuhtli Mictlantecuhtli said:

So how will Europeans use Windows Update to install security updates without IE? Will Microsoft change the update site so browsers other than Internet Explorer will work because that's not the case now?

Updates in Vista and newer Windowses use a separate Windows Update application, it doesn't need IE.

yukka, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Maybe they will ship a second disk with internet explorer on it, or maybe it will come in a separate directory on the windows 7 disk.

If Opera and every other browser manufacturer want to dispute that or complain, let them stick their browser on disks and send them to MS to be packaged and sent out with Windows 7 as well.

Macs ship with Safari. At least IE should be an option.

yukka, TechSpot Paladin, said:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/8096701.stm

BBC are reporting that Microsoft will make it easy to get IE. Probably as an easy option via Windows Update. This assumes the broadband connection that you have is already configured on the old router

Guest said:

I agree that IE sucks compared to other browsers. Web development has been one of my hobbies and IE was always the thorn in my side.

But you have to keep people in mind who don't want to have to think about this stuff, and just want it to "go". There are a lot of people who will buy Windows 7 just wanting it to plug and play who will now have to deal with downloading a browser without using a browser, adding unnecessary stress, and probably resulting in a glut of helpdesk calls. This isn't a positive step. :P

Mictlantecuhtli Mictlantecuhtli said:

OEMs are still free to bundle whichever browser(s) they want, so people who buy PCs (as opposed to buying individual components and assembling them by themselves) are likely to get a browser out of the box.

Guest said:

Misleading statistics!

"Firefox 3 held 35% versus IE7's 34%", and what about IE8 and IE6. If your comparing market share than kindly include all IE versions (IE6 still seems to be quite widespread) and don't pick numbers that support your argument and omit the ones that don't

Guest said:

Hi all, first sorry for my bad english.

I agree with a lot of comment on this website, but i just want add something that is not (Why ???) mentioned in this article.

UE NEVER ask/oblige/suggest/... Microsoft to remove IE8 from Windows7. UE want a news features in W7 : they want possibility for user to choose their browser, exactly like a Guest was saying.

And microsoft say he will not introduce a new web browser, he prefer remove IE8.

So, that is not UE who whant to remove IE8 from windows but Microsoft, because they dont want insert new web browser in their OS.

And for information, UE not agree with the decision of Microsoft to remove IE8, they will give their decision later.

Guest said:

That's the point. It's Microsoft giving the EU the finger. I'll take my ball and go home then.

Personally, I love the decision.

OLBY OLBY said:

i agree with euoropians, because the ie is bad and slow, and have a lot of problems

thats my comment

windmill007 said:

^^LOL IE is fine...so if all the others. Lets see next it will be media player....VLC should be an option....humm what else...give me a break.

Mictlantecuhtli Mictlantecuhtli said:

Microsoft could have avoided these bundling lawsuits simply by letting users choose what to install like they did in Win95/98/Me.

JDoors JDoors said:

Taking something away equals more choice? Good job EU, keep up the good work. I wish MS had the guts to say, "You know what? We're a business. You're anti-business. We'll be taking our business elsewhere. Oh, and we just can't wait for the release of your government designed and approved OS. We could use a good laugh around here. Hugs and kisses, Microsoft."

Staff
Rick Rick, TechSpot Staff, said:

The EU could take this so incredibly far... How about removing Windows Media Player? How about removing the built-in CD burning capability? Why not remove the firewall? How about Defender? What about the calculator?

I mean, come on. I don't really like IE, but IE doesn't need to be completely removed. As long as their is an attempt to show alternative browsers exist, that's as far as this needs to go. Maybe the first time you start up Internet Explorer, IE could show you Firefox, Opera, Safari and other choices along with the usual choices of configuring your IE8 settings.

Honestly, if I were Microsoft, I'd say eff it and stop shipping Windows to Europe all together. It wouldn't be a smart business move, but it would make me feel awfully good. That's probably why I'm not a CEO, though.

Guest said:

This is just more extortion by the EU bureaucracy on US businesses. Lets start the trade war by fining EU companies in return. Users are free to choose a different browser if they wish.

Guest said:

Rick (and others) maybe you should learn more about UE decision... So, try to understand that :

Microsoft (and not UE) want remove IE frome Windows 7. So stop cry about UE, and go wine about Microsoft.

luvhuffer luvhuffer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Rick (and others) maybe you should learn more about UE decision... So, try to understand that :

Microsoft (and not UE) want remove IE frome Windows 7. So stop cry about UE, and go wine about Microsoft.

AH HA HA HA HA!!!!!! Ya MS wants to remove it. Before they get fined a few more hundreds of millions of dollars. I personally never cry about the EU decisions. Never could get emotional about tort for profit businesses and governments. I just think they suck. And now Opera is saying taking IE out of the OS isn't good enough. What do they want? Bill to serve them breakfast for a year? Have you ever tried Opera? What a POS!

Sorry about the rant and I don't use IE 6, 7, or 8. I just think they have a right to put what they want in their products. Why don't these EU commissioners sue Volvo to stop putting radios in their cars so the consumer can install Blaupunkt or Bang and Olufsen music systems in them after they buy it?

Guest said:

AH HA HA HA HA!!!!!! Ya MS wants to remove it. Before they get fined a few more hundreds of millions of dollars. I personally never cry about the EU decisions. Never could get emotional about tort for profit businesses and governments. I just think they suck. And now Opera is saying taking IE out of the OS isn't good enough. What do they want? Bill to serve them breakfast for a year? Have you ever tried Opera? What a POS!

Sorry about the rant and I don't use IE 6, 7, or 8. I just think they have a right to put what they want in their products. Why don't these EU commissioners sue Volvo to stop putting radios in their cars so the consumer can install Blaupunkt or Bang and Olufsen music systems in them after they buy it?

I agree. And if you read a bit more about this decision you will see UE agree too... Well, i suggest you to inform more about this subject.

First UE have not decided anything yet.

Second, UE want MS to add other products in their OS like firefox, opera, chrome, etc... And let the user choose at W7 installation.

Microsoft dont agree and prefer remove IE.

(When microsoft say that, UE say that was not a good solution...)

luvhuffer luvhuffer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I read that. The commissioners now are asking if removing it gives the customers less choice instead of more. That's Opera's complaint. They want all the alternative browsers bundled with the system. Or something like that. The whole thing is starting to feel like my third wife. OCD'd with a touch of schizophrenia. They got what now? $1.7 billion from MS. Time to leave them alone and pay attention to suing Intel.

Guest said:

@JDoors

@Rick

Alright to start with I'm from the UK now as much as I hate the EU how can you say that you wish Microsoft take Windows out of the Market here (Something typical about this and Yanks), that's punishing the Europeans like myself who.....

1. Couldn't give a monkeys about what Microsoft does with Windows as long as we can use it and be able to download another Browser, The first thing I've done on the 3 Windows Systems, 2 XP, 1 Vista, I've had apart from Windows Updates is to install Firefox and more recently on my Vista Machine every Major Browser possible just to have a change, more often I use Firefox and Chrome.

2. Couldn't give a s**t about what the top brass in the EU say, they lack common sense to start with as has been proven in this whole saga, too much power and egos, it should all be left to National Governments as it used to be but alas the UK had to join these bunch of ****** the only thing good about being in the EU is the trading opportunities.

Anyway it's not our fault that the European Commission is doing all this do you really think the Europeans care what Microsoft packages with their product as long as we can get it (Like everyone else) we're not bothered, they don't voice the opinion of all Europeans you know. The EC is made up of 27 commissioners (1 from each of the 27 EU States), I don't know how it all fully works but I would assume that 14 of those Commissioners would need to vote against Microsoft to get a decision, they are tasked to think "European" but most keep National Interests at heart, maybe you should think how hated the UK and US was in Europe when the Iraq war started, haven't you thought they might just be punishing US companies in some odd way because of that?

Wouldn't surprise me if they were by the way, someone suggested fining EU companies go ahead the UK doesn't own many of it's companies anymore anyway most are owned by Asian or European Giants unless they are absolutely massive companies like BAE, BA or Barclays to name a few.

And if it turns to fining between companies in the US and EU then we have gone back nearly 90 years in Business when the same happened then in the form of import taxes on goods from Europe to the US and vice versa, thus making European goods less attractive in the US and again vice versa.

Maybe you should think about it all before you open your mouth next time and try to research about it and understand what's going on from the European perspective.

JDoors JDoors said:

Let's drop the "You don't know what you're talking about" arguments. If you don't think someone has thought this through, then make a convincing counter-argument and include any pertinent information.

As for the "guest" who stated it was Microsoft's decision and had nothing to do with the EU, why on God's green Earth would Microsoft spend ANY time or money to re-engineer their OS to exclude Internet Explorer if it were NOT for the EU? Are they doing this in the U.S.? Asia? ANYWHERE else?

Is this re-engineering to their benefit in ANY way -- OTHER than to quell EU fishing expeditions?

It is, in my opinion, simply the nanny-state mindset of the EU in general, that somehow a bunch of bureaucrats know how to run everything and know what's best for everyone, and once they've got their foot in your door NOTHING you can do will get them to leave you alone as they nit-pick (or fine, or tax) you to death.

(I think that's enough clichés for one post!)

Guest said:

Let's drop the "You don't know what you're talking about" arguments. If you don't think someone has thought this through, then make a convincing counter-argument and include any pertinent information.

Sorry?

Where did I say the "You don't know what you're talking about", or what context do you feel my previous reply included that?

From what you have written before it doesn't look like you've considered the other side of this or thought to investigate the difference between the EU and EC, this is from my point of view, from what you wrote you just thought in your opinion Microsoft could/should pull the OS from Europe but instead of complaining directly about the EC (European Commission) who have done all this, you complained about the EU (European Union) 2 totally different bodies/organisations, which actually seems to have been the overall consensus in these posts about the EU instead of EC which is tarnishing us all with the same brush compared to the executive ****** what we call the EC.

The EU is the grouping of the states, the political and economic side and is mainly based on Governance, Economy and Development - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Union

The EC is basically in a nutshell the more detailed governing body which decides on Laws, Upholding of Treaties (For example Trade Agreements and the Treaty on which the EU was formed - Treaty of Maastricht) and other various Political decisions -http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Commission

Hope that clears something up

The EC (Not EU) seems to hate too little competition or the damaging of other competition (Not Anti-Business) i.e. to give the consumer choice, obviously it might be looking into that consumer choice but as we know Intel and Microsoft pretty much dominate their respective markets so it's quite easy for the EC to try and find any sort of hole to get at them and try to get a fairer market for the EU as a whole thus getting prices for goods as low as possible. The EU might have some say Economically but overall the investigation and other things is done by the EC and anyway don't take it as fines to fund something in Europe I believe it is given to charity or to aid those less fortunate than some of us.

bavon said:

Cowards, just like the British public and their government! Will some courageous soul please stand up to this cabal of peculators and thinly disguised Mafia Dons that calls itself the EU? I expect we'll have to wait until US ambassadors are being told how to wipe their a***s before anyone tells that gang of unelected freeloaders to take a hike.....

bavon said:

Sorry, some of them are elected, but not the commissioners. Could an expert on EU matters please inform us?

Guest said:

@bavon

I'm no expert but I roughly know what happens having read about it

The President of the EC is elected by the European Council which is the leaders of the 27 states in the EU, basically the Council is the highest political body of the EU, each Country gets it's own Commissioner, currently José Manuel Barroso is the President who got re-elected for a second 5 year term a few weeks ago so the Portuguese have their Commissioner then the other 26 states leaders pick the Commissioner they want to represent from their country.

So your right about them being not elected, so in all reality they are nobodies because the people haven't elected them so we get no say at all, doesn't sound Democratic does it?

Guest said:

Fun or pathetic replys ?

You are crying about something who have not been decided for you and will have no consequence in the US... But you cry.

EU cannot do as they want ? If they think MS do not respect THEIR laws, they cannot decided sanctions ? They have just to think and do like Americans, because Americans know what is good for european people ?

Just a joke, IE8 is a **** and MS too. If you think it's not normal i know a big list of anormal things in the US. And they are more important that a stupid web browser...

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