Recently Microsoft proposed to give Windows users in Europe a choice of browser via the so-called “ballot screen” option. Although still awaiting approval by the European Commission, the company’s deputy general counsel Dave Heiner is betting regulators will overwhelmingly support the plan and has already has dumped the browser-less version of Windows 7 that it had planned to release in that region.
According to a recent blog post, Microsoft hopes to “ship the same version of Windows 7 in Europe in October that [it] will ship in the rest of the world.” Heiner goes on to say the main reason for the move was concerns from partners that it was going to be too complicated and confusing to switch from Windows 7 ‘E' to the full version if the EU accepts Microsoft's new plan. The browser-less version would have also prevented European users from doing an in-place upgrade from Vista, forcing Microsoft to sell full licenses at upgrade prices.
Consumers in Europe who already purchased Windows 7 E during the recent pre-order promotion will still get the full versions of the product at upgrade promotional prices, as promised, but instead of getting no browser at all they should be able to pick their preferred one when launching IE for the first time.