Working to Fulfill our Legal Obligations in Europe for Windows 7

UPDATE: June 11, 2009 – 5:30 p.m. Pacific

Posted by Dave Heiner 
Vice President and Deputy General Counsel

[Update to my original post earlier today below – I’ve added more historical context for readers who might be new to the issue – D.H.]

Earlier today CNET reported that Microsoft had sent a memo to computer manufacturers and retailers about our plans for Windows 7 in Europe.  We’re getting quite a few calls on this, so we thought it would be helpful to explain our plans.

First, a little context.  For the past three years Microsoft has been working to develop the next version of our Windows operating system, Windows 7.  We’ve taken feedback from literally millions of beta customers to ensure that Windows 7 delivers the power, simplicity and ease-of-use that customers want.  We’ve also worked hard to ensure that Windows 7 will promote choice and competition in the computer industry, in keeping with our Windows Principles.  We’ve held hands-on workshops with hundreds of industry partnersto ensure they have the information they need to build products that work well with Windows 7.  Customers running Windows 7 will be able to choose compatible products from among literally thousands of computer manufacturers, peripheral manufacturers, and software vendors. 

The worldwide launch of Windows 7 is fast approaching, but a pending legal case raises concerns about the sufficiency of competition among the Web browsers that are available to Windows users in Europe.  In January the European Commission provided its preliminary view that Microsoft’s “bundling” of Internet Explorer in Windows violated European competition law.

We’re committed to making Windows 7 available in Europe at the same time that it launches in the rest of the world, but we also must comply with European competition law as we launch the product.  Given the pending legal proceeding, we’ve decided that instead of including Internet Explorer in Windows 7 in Europe, we will offer it separately and on an easy-to-install basis to both computer manufacturers and users.  This means that computer manufacturers and users will be free to install Internet Explorer on Windows 7, or not, as they prefer. Of course, they will also be free, as they are today, to install other Web browsers.

Based on the progress our development teams have made, we announced last week that Windows 7 will be available to consumers worldwide on October 22nd.  In order to meet that release date, we needed to start telling computer manufacturers this week exactly what to expect in Windows 7 so they can begin all of the engineering and operational work necessary to have PCs available in stores in October.  We began that process earlier this week.

Windows 7 will be offered in Europe in all of the versions that will be available here in the United States, both 32- and 64-bit, with an “E” at the end of the product name (for instance, Windows 7 Home Premium E).  The E versions of Windows 7 will ship at the same time as Windows 7 ships in the rest of the world, and they will be available in 23 European languages.

What does this mean for European consumers?  The E versions of Windows 7 will include all the features and functionality of Windows 7 in the rest of the world, other than browsing with Internet Explorer.  Computer manufacturers will be able to add any browser they want to their Windows 7 machines, including Internet Explorer, so European consumers who purchase new PCs will be able to access the Internet without any problem.  Consumers will also be able to add any Web browser to their PCs, to supplement or replace the browsers preinstalled by their computer manufacturer. 

Most importantly, the E versions of Windows 7 will continue to provide all of the underlying platform functionality of the operating system—applications designed for Windows will run just as well on an E version as on other versions of Windows 7. 

Obviously, this is a big step for Microsoft.  But we’re committed to launching Windows 7 on time in Europe, so we need to address the legal realities in Europe, including the risk of large fines.  We believe that this new approach, while not our first choice, is the best path forward given the ongoing legal case in Europe.  It will address the “bundling” claim while providing European consumers with access to the full range of Windows 7 benefits that will be available in the rest of the world.  Our developers are focused on delivering a great Windows 7 experience to customers and a great browser as well.

Our decision to only offer IE separately from Windows 7 in Europe cannot, of course, preclude the possibility of alternative approaches emerging through Commission processes.  Other alternatives have been raised in the Commission proceedings, including possible inclusion in Windows 7 of alternative browsers or a “ballot screen” that would prompt users to choose from a specific set of Web browsers.  Important details of these approaches would need to be worked out in coordination with the Commission, since they would have a significant impact on computer manufacturers and Web browser vendors, whose interests may differ.   Given the complexity and competing interests, we don’t believe it would be best for us to adopt such an approach unilaterally. 

We will continue to discuss browser issues and other matters with the Commission.  But even as the Commission processes continue, we know we need to have a clear plan in place to address the “bundling” issue in Europe because, at the end of the day, the obligation to comply with European competition law belongs to Microsoft alone. 


Today’s news is, of course, only the latest development in a story that has been unfolding since the launch of Windows 95. (At that time, the primary concern was that the inclusion of MSN access software in Windows 95 would block competition from AOL.) Having joined Microsoft in 1994 I’m perhaps more familiar than I’d like to be with the history of the antitrust cases relating to the features included in Windows. But for others who don’t follow this day to day, I thought it might be helpful to provide a quick summary of the cases and earlier court rulings that have brought us to this point.

Since the mid-1990s governments have been focused on promoting robust competition between Windows and products that compete with features of Windows, such as Web browsers and media players. Microsoft has emphasized that consumers benefit when products such as Windows are improved over time by the addition of new features. We have also emphasized that because Windows is an open platform, including a feature in Windows does not prevent competitors from offering competing products. Others have argued that including a feature in Windows gives Microsoft too great an advantage over competing products because so many people use Windows. How these differing views are reconciled is important because consumers benefit when popular products such as Windows are continuously improved and when products such as Windows face robust competition.

A legal framework to resolve these concerns was established by a series of court rulings and a consent decree in the U.S. Department of Justice case against Microsoft. Since 2001, Microsoft has been required to adhere to a range of legal requirements governing the design and distribution of Windows. These were put in place to promote competitive opportunities for products that compete with features of Windows, including Web browsers and media players. Since then, of course, we’ve seen new competition to Internet Explorer offered by Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, Google Chrome and others. For media, we’ve witnessed the success of Apple iTunes running on Windows and Adobe Flash for playing YouTube and other Web video.

Microsoft has complied with the requirements of the U.S. court rulings on a worldwide basis. In 2004, however, the European Commission determined that the U.S. approach did not sufficiently address the Commission’s concerns relating to the inclusion of media player software in Windows. The Commission adopted a different approach: within Europe Microsoft was required to offer a version of Windows without its built-in media player and permitted also to offer a version of Windows with its media player. Microsoft was also ordered to pay a large fine. Microsoft complied with the Commission decision, as it must, and at the same time exercised its right to appeal to a European court. In 2007, the court ruled in favor of the Commission and broadly adopted its reasoning. (We will, of course, continue to comply with the March 2004 decision with respect to Windows Media Player—the European versions of Windows 7 will be available with and without WMP.)

In late 2007 a European browser vendor filed a complaint with the Commission arguing that the reasoning of the WMP case should be applied to Web browsing software as well. We disagreed, but concluded that the most prudent course was to try to address any concerns before releasing Windows 7. Therefore, in September 2008, we told computer manufacturers that we would offer Windows 7 in Europe in two versions, following the approach of the Commission’s 2004 decision: one version with all features included and another version without certain programs (Internet Explorer 8 and WMP). Computer manufacturers could choose either version.

In January 2009 the Commission sent Microsoft a “Statement of Objections.” In it the Commission advised Microsoft of its preliminary view that the inclusion of Web browsing software in Windows violates European competition law. The Commission said in this document that it intends to impose a fine for this. The Commission also said that, with hindsight, the remedy adopted in its 2004 decision was not effective because there was very limited consumer demand for the versions of Windows without media player. We were, of course, disappointed to learn that the approach we took in September 2008 would not adequately address the Commission’s concerns.

Microsoft filed its response to the Commission’s Statement of Objections in April. We believe we made a strong showing that including Internet Explorer in Windows is lawful so that no remedy is needed. We hope that the Commission will ultimately agree with us. In the meantime, we have to move forward with final planning for the release of Windows 7, so we’ve decided that instead of including Internet Explorer in Windows 7 in Europe, we will offer it separately. As noted, we will continue to discuss browser issues and other matters with the Commission.

Comments (189)

  1. Anonymous says:

    Please ignore my earlier posts I didn;t realise the return key would submmit my comment, I just wanted a new line!  I can't bear to describe myself as a Eurpoean (don't get me wrong, I love all the people of all the member states (and the rest of the world too! perhas even the universe!) I just wish that the UK were not bound to these stupid terms), I am British. I am thoroughly embarassed sometimes to be a citizen of a country increasingly controlled by pointless European laws which have a tendancy to leave us shooting ourselves in the foot (Particularly as the UK is the only member group of countries who ever seems to follow the laws). Why on earth should we be willing to allow an Operating System to ship without a Web browser?  This is taking us back to the early 1990s isn't it? What will people have to do if they buy Windows 7 to install for themselves? For example if I wish to build my own PC and buy an oem version of Windows 7 along with my components, presumably I shall have to download a browser on some other PC and copy it accross beore being able to use Internet Explorer. what a nuisance, I dont want to do that.  Any other browser producer is already perfectly free to invest their own time and money into writing their own operating system if they wish to do so, and then they can bundle their browser on it, I cannot see what is so anti competitive about that. Microsoft have invested manyu years in their operating System why can't they put whatever they like on it. If people choose to buy Windows or a PC which has Windows installed then surely that should be a choice to accept the browser (Internet Explorer) that comes with it. And if you dont want the browser you are free to change it. What's fairer than that? As a citizen in a country that allows itself to be controlled by Europe, what can I do to have my say on this matter? I for one would put Internet Explorer onto a Windows 7 PC as soon as possible if it wasn;t already there  as it has always been the best supported browser solution for Windows.

  2. Anonymous says:

    What happens when people upgrade to Windows 7 E on an existing pc? Will they end up with a browserless OS?

  3. Anonymous says:

    But what about customers who want IE8 integrated? I don't understand why the EC is forcing Microsoft to remove a feature that I want? Will there be another version on sale that includes the browser? I think it is a bit of a hassle to independently install IE. What about the people who buy a netbook with Windows 7 without a cd-rom drive? How are they going to install IE?

  4. Anonymous says:

    Well, good for MS. I guess you decided to make lemonade from the lemons the EU is providing. To ensure fairness, can we expect the EU to force Linux distros to unbundle Firefox? Apple to unbundle Safari?  Android (Real, others) to unbundle Chrome?  Or is this in fact about remaking the market in the EU's image by allowing competitors unfetered ability to do what only MS is restricted from doing?

  5. Anonymous says:

    As a devloper who invested lots of time in studying Windows platform I am very happy about this idea. I don't see any legal ways for EU Comission to stop Microsoft from doing this. And this does solve bundling question completely. EU consumers are going to be very excited. Effect is reduced though by allowing vendors to preinstall IE8: forcing typical customer of age 60 or older to get IE8 by FTP or via USB Thumb drive would have made him spent a decade writing complaints to every possible European committee!

  6. Anonymous says:

    This was brought about by the makers of the Opera Browser continually complaining to the European Commission, about the "unfair advantage" that Microsoft had with IE bundled with its Operating Systems. It will be interesting to see how many consumers will choose to install Opera as their choice of browser when Windows 7 is released to market. Opera is a good browser, I am currently using it to view this page, but I am going to dump it and use an alternate browser because I will not support businesses that ask Governments to obstruct their competitors, in order to improve market share. They shouldn't be in business if they have to resort to this sort of cry baby tactic. It is pathetic!

  7. Anonymous says:

    So how would we download and install a browser without a browser? What would we do then? The EU suck and somethings like this make me wish the UK were out of the EU.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Suckup EU! I love Microsoft products… They not only doing business because they need money! but they do it also to give and help others… once again suckup EU. Net book without CDROM how can they install without a browser.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Every major OS comes with a browser nowadays.  Just don't understand why the European Commission can't get over this fact.  I am feeling sorry for those folks who don't have much computer knowledge and have to figure out on how to download and install a browser.  

  10. Anonymous says:

    Ah yeah i know how user can install IE through their netbooks. Guess what? EU.C. will give them usb pre-loaded with other browser because the EC received soemthing from other browser hahaha… oops EC relax ok… because here in my heart they also make rulings and you must also act and obey it.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I applaud Microsoft finally acknowledging that it IS possible to produce their flagship OS without tying MSIE into it.    For those of you who do not yet understand WHY Microsoft is being punished by the EC, you need to go beyond your personal experience with the company and learn some history. Microsoft has not always been the company you know, today. It is a "monopoly", by the legal definition of the word, and as a company in a position fitting that definition, indeed because they have grown so large for one reason or another, they have abused their monopoly position for many years.    I'm not slandering Microsoft by recalling actual news and legal events when I say that it has been proven in many different legal cases over the past 20 years that Microsoft (a) got to their current position of market saturation by engaging in predatory business practices and (b) aggressively and maliciously programming their dominant (not through virtue, but through predatory business practices) operating system's core functionality to react negatively to their competitor's products, including the web browser competitors.    In other words, Netscape's (or any other) browser (or media player) could never live up to its potential on a Windows machine because Microsoft engineers had intentionally programmed elements of the core OS to screw up the way certain shared libraries and other hooks into the core behaved when non-Microsoft applications requested their use. Microsoft intentionally sabotaged their competitor's products so that their own products would seem superior.    THAT was abusing a monopoly position. The EC was correct in their judgment.    If you ever used Firefox on a Windows machine and then recognized that Firefox ran much better on an Apple or Linux machine, you recognize the effects.    Since the web browser has emerged as a powerful tool in international communications, the EC delivered their verdict that the competitive landscape was being harmed by Microsoft's predatory business practices and its malicious programming, and ordered Microsoft to comply with a few rules IF that company CHOSE to continue marketing its products to the European market which is under the protection of that same Commission.    Let's not continue to offer the herring that market saturation is a substitute for a company's ethical and legal obligations to the community, okay? Microsoft has played with consumers and others in its marketplace in a very nasty way for most of its life. The EC rulings simply say, "If you want to play in our yard, then you play by our rules."    Microsoft can simply say, "Screw you, EC. We're not selling to your constituents any more because we don't like the rules."    It's up to them … and Microsoft has chosen to play by the EC's rules, just as they and every other company (i.e. Google, et al.) does in deference to China's rules, or the rules of any other governmental agency.    I do HOPE that the new product is more stable and secure than Microsoft's previous offerings have been, and it is good to see that their engineers are actually capable of unbundling what their lawyers claimed was an unbundleable set of applications.

  12. Anonymous says:

    @Dre:    According to Cnet upgrading from Vista to Windows 7 E is actually not possible AT ALL:  Since only E versions would be sold in the EU this will make it impossi

  13. Anonymous says:

    Don't forget that M$ is the monopolist here and not Apple or Linux – therefore anti-monopoly measures apply only to M$. And besides both Apple and Linux have their web engines open-sourced unlike M$ which is pushing a PROPRIETARY LOCK-IN SOLUTION.

  14. Anonymous says:

    MS should say "ok ok we will ship two version of OS in EU one with an E and one without E" hahaha… i know realy what is E —> "Windows Seven for Europe" na.. pwe! EC stop fooling European Citizens

  15. Anonymous says:

    This website is doing my head in, and yet I still post to it! Not sure if I've already posted the following as I think I hit Return and it did something but didn't confirm my posting.     I bought a Panasonic Television in England a few months ago and the manufacturer had bundled with it some Panasonic batteries (perhaps you call them cells in the US) for the Panasonic branded remote control.   I was not offered any choice as to whose batteries I would like for the remote control. Perhaps they should have bundled multiple manufacturers batteries with the TV (Duracell Energizer and perhaps some lesser known brands I haven't heard of) or perhaps not even have supplied a Panasonic branded remote control.     In addition to this the remote control can control other panasonic products such as DVD players but not non Panasonic devices (it wont control my Sony DVD player) I'm sure they are not the only electronics company that do this either (though should it make any difference if they were?), no doubt Sony, Philips or any other successfull company able to do so would have done similar. Neither do I want them to stop doing so. It does not put me off buying electronics equipment made by other manufacturers.    It is in the interest of consumers for a manufacturer to provide a comprehensive product which 'out of the box' is capable of serving our needs to a largely acceptable level (you can never please everyone).     If a TV manufacturer is able to provide their own remote control and batteries this is likely to allow them to prooduce and test their product at a lower cost to the consumer than if they have to test multiple alternatives (some might argue that this is a poor example, do Microsoft test their products? or do they rely on their customer base to do so?).       For Microsoft to bundle other popular browsers would surely risk being anti competitive also as it would almost certainly omit some lesser known browsers thereby putting their manufacturers at a disadvantage. What Microsoft currently does by providing Internet Explorer is to provide an out of the box solution to enable web browsing, which will either be agreeable with the user or enable them to download another browser (or get a different Operating System). They even allow a user or a PC manufacturer to disbble IE.     Please tell me that Windows 7 will still include the calculator, WordPad, NotePad, Paint etc. or are you no longer able to provide anything other than basic disk access. Perhaps you should revert back to the days of just a command prompt. wouldn't that be progress?     I ocassionally visit Cafe's including (but not limited to) Starbucks. Whilst I am offered some choice as to what sort sort of Coffee I can have, I am not able in a Starbucks store in Europe to buy Kenco or Nescafe coffee (or if i am it is not clearly stated that I could do so). Is this anti competitive? (I only mention Starbucks as an example of a chain that some people might have heard of).  

  16. Anonymous says:

    I think Mary Grace has the best idea here. If this is about consumer choice then both Microsoft and PC Manufacturers in the European market should allow us to choose whether we buy Microsoft Windows 7 E or Microsft Windows 7 including bundled IE with no cost difference between the 2 (or make the non IE version more expensive to reflect the extra work involved in producing it.).

  17. Anonymous says:

    Wouldn't it be nice if all the browser makers worked together to take the web to a higher level?  Let's get on with it already.

  18. Anonymous says:

    it's unclear from the post above whether the E editions of Windows 7 will be the only ones available in Europe, or if they are in addition to the versions that include Internet Explorer which will be available in other markets.    Dismayed as I am to see my taxes being mis-spent on action such as this by the European Commission, I understand the reasons for Microsoft making this change (should the European courts attempt to hold up Windows 7 release then the cost to Microsoft would be huge in terms of lost revenue) but, with my eye on global deployments, it's unclear to me whether I have the option of using non-E versions in Europe or if I need to have a European build for Windows 7 and another version for other geographies?

  19. Anonymous says:

    As for how this might work in an ideal world…    I would like to install Windows quickly with the least possible user interaction. Then, once the base operating system is installed, I’d like to select roles/features (as I do for Windows Server 2008) and install any third party software that I choose – independently of the Windows setup routine. If we have to have something to please the minority browsers (Opera, Chrome, Safari, etc.) then Windows already lets me choose search providers, media players, mail clients, etc. – why not use the same mechanism for browsers?  There's no need for a ballot screen… just extend the existing mechanism…

  20. Anonymous says:

    I am (embarrassingly) a European citizen, and think that this is stupid pointless bureaucracy. BUT *worse* this is unjust and unfair as Microsoft is being prosecuted and forced to take these stupid steps and yet Apple are still permitted to bundled their browser with their operating system!  Also how are you supposed to 'chose' a browser if you cant browse the internet if there is no built in browser? Stupid EU.  I hope someone can raise the issue of Apple being able to bundle their browser with the EU courts, because if they are going to be irresponsibly stupid they should do in a consistent manner not just picking on specific companies!  

  21. Anonymous says:

    I will download a real copy of windows 7, before I would ever use a cut down E version.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Am I the only one with wanting Microsoft to say Go F*** yourself? When GM makes a car, do we get to force them to give us a competitors sound system or engine? Can you imagine that? We have to mod the car ourselves. I say when the EU forces Apple, Linux, and every other OS maker out there(cell phones included) to give us the same options their demanding of MS then Microsoft should play ball. Until then kindly shut up.    This is getting a little crazy. First Media Player, which wasn't a problem anyways; Download VLC if you don't like it. Now they expect MS to bundle a competitors product with a MICROSOFT OS. If you don't like what your getting with Windows then don't buy it, go pickup a mac or a linux box. Microsoft isn't forcing their product down your throats. They won the OS battles, they're OS is the best. 90% of the world market isn't wrong. Sure the others have come a long way, but they took their time.    One thing I noticed the first time I started up Internet explorer 8, it gave me the CHOICE of which default search provider I would like. I know Firefox doesn't do that, or Safari. They just assume I want Google. Which I did until I tried Bing, but they never gave me the choice. HOWEVER they expect Microsoft to?

  23. Anonymous says:

    Now the biggest looser is Opera , the reason behind all this mess. Opera people thought they would influence EU to include Opera in the Windows.  Now , they cant pay the OEMs to include Opera in windows.  why cant they complain about Iphone not letting any other browser installed on it .  when every other OS in the world can include a browser of their choice why cant MS. can any body imagine a OS without any browser?  its all EU's plot to more make money and what re they doing with all the money robbed from Microsoft , Intel and other companies ? do they help develop any open source software companies in EU ? i doubt so .  what are they doing about the web monopoly Goog , they steal everyones data by default and sell ads . if you look at any GOOg web product by default the sharing options are Public. anyways , its a good stand by MS and they can spend little money with OEMs to get its IE installed than paying EU in billions.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Microsoft was imposing Windows systems with IE, claiming it was an integral part of an OS. And it's not it's a component like any other… it should be easily removed like other windows components. That was the complain of the comission the tying of IE to Windows. Microsoft choose to removed it completely for Europe. They could offer with IE and without, EC ruled in favour of a solution like this for Media Player. MS choose to act like victims… poor Microsoft… EC is hurting you… bad EC… bad EC lol

  25. Anonymous says:

    Win7 without IE8. Good news. But missing – without MediaPlayer…

  26. Anonymous says:

    Seems like a pretty fair and equitable response from MSFT.  The EC has now added complexity to the user experience of their constituents.  Further, they have not only given them the right to choose a browser, but have actually forced them to do so.  I don't think that citizens will be too happy with this, but I do feel that MSFT is almost completely indemnified from any future complaint about bundling.  Opera?  Better get busy coming up with some marketing campaigns for your software, because MSFT will not be introducing it on your behalf.

  27. Anonymous says:

    EU u're suck ! Windows without IE, there is the most worst idea i had been hear about. Without IE no any other browser can be download from internet. what can do with the only and brand new pc? download and copy the browser from other computer and install it? it will waste alot of time ! netbook? no any ROM to use, how to get on net while it's called "NET"book ? Ms do alot of stuff to save user money and time, but EU? waste money and time? heyss!!! please stop your outdated mindset please!! I bet don't have any one like the EU idea, change your mind !!

  28. Anonymous says:

    EU commission is a curse. they only wants to destroy a good business. What is worng with them? If users wants a windows with let them have it. those who wants other browsers are already using it. we need strong action against EU. Rest of the world needs to come togather. I hate EU commision.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Microsoft should make a repo and package manager like many Linux distros.  So you could install/remove software via Internet _without a browser._

  30. Anonymous says:

    Because most of Windos users can't use FTP 😀

  31. Anonymous says:

    If i don't have IE, how the hell am i supposed to download Firefox or Chrome anyway? I am aware of http://ftp.exe, but i aint go a clue where to find Firefox… Bet i can use ftp to search for it on google!

  32. Anonymous says:

    Will Windows 7 <Version> be on sale in Europe as well as Windows 7 <Version> E. I have to agree with the comments above, I want IE8, I prefer it over Chrome. I'm sure MS will include an option somewhere to download a browser on startup.

  33. Anonymous says:

    Hi all:      As developer, I have develop some applications using VC  "Microsoft web browser" ActiveX.    I use this to show some news, directly from my website, in my application.    Do I have to say to my users that they need to install IE before install my application or does my application work without installing IE?      bye.

  34. Anonymous says:

    Apple does not need to offer Safari separately from Mac OS X, because Apple is not a convicted monopolist.  Microsoft IS being singled out because it has used its monopoly to gain an unfair advantage over the competition.  Having said that, Microsoft is playing this one very cleverly.  

  35. Anonymous says:

    First of all I guess the Commission would prefer a worldwide settlement and it does not resolve the problems of the past. The comments to your blog are so weird… whom do you want to impress with the infocrap army? "…, we will offer it separately and on an easy-to-install basis to both computer manufacturers and users." Let me guess, a second CD with IE? The Commission expects you to screw her up because your company did so in the past. You have any credit left. Go and get your own Commissioner Pat Cox or whomever, if you do go down THIS path, be prepared the outgoing Commission will plant some booby traps.

  36. Anonymous says:

    Opera, Safari, Internet Explorer, Chrome, etc.

  37. Anonymous says:

    *Please* at least offer it through the built in Automatic Updates (eg as an optional update) so we have the option to easily get our EU-Crippled OS back up to speed.  Or better still let us choose a non-E edition if we want (so "E" can sell as well as "N" editions!)  And let's make Apple unbundle Safari while we're at it if we're to be fair.  Stupid EU.

  38. Anonymous says:

    I am from Holland. And i LOVE Microsoft Products.    This is the reason why so many voted agains the EU. I wil NEVER and i say it again NEVER EVER buy/use any software By Opera anymore!!! I prefer the Dutch version, but i will not buy windows 7 dutch without IE8 and not without Media Player! *-**  Windows 7 is THE BEST OS ever made by Microsoft! Kroes by the EU is just a B…. i will never vote for the EU anymore!  Microsoft please do NOT include any 3rd company browser!! i hope the EU will feel what happends.. Microsoft should not include 3rd party browsers.. for 1 reason: then they must give support for them.. this is just insane!! I-Hate Opera!   Thank you your stupid EU! wake up its teh year 2009!

  39. Anonymous says:

    EU should chase smartphone manufacturers also including Nokia, RIM and Apple as they are also computers and bundle browsers.

  40. Anonymous says:

    My latest blog shows strong support for Microsoft in this decision. Read at your leisure:

  41. Anonymous says:

    There is only one thing I don't fully understand. If Microsoft is punished for including a web browser and a media player in its operating system, why aren't there any antitrust causes against Apple, Linux, or any other operating system manufacturer which does the same?

  42. Anonymous says:

    Venemo wrote, "There is only one thing I don't fully understand. If Microsoft is punished for including a web browser and a media player in its operating system, why aren't there any antitrust causes against Apple, Linux, or any other operating system manufacturer which does the same?"    That's definitely one of the points that I bring up in my blog (URL above).  

  43. Anonymous says:

    I am embarrassed since I am one of the very few who actually use Opera (along with Firefox and IE8).  I thought it was a really nice browser.  But, I can’t take anymore whining from Jon von Tetzchner, the CEO of Opera.  Sorry Jon!  I just uninstalled Opera on the computers in my network.  I really liked your Opera browser for my phone but uninstalled it too!  A person has to draw a line somewhere.  The EU interference in this matter is just ridiculous.  Maybe they ought to just make their own utopian OS the way they think it should be and lock out all others from the EU.  I am sure it would be very popular.  I agree other comments here, if the EU wants to take this “no browser” approach then they need to be fair and apply it across the board to all OS’s.  China might want to follow the EU’s lead on this………  

  44. Anonymous says:

    Hi, (using enter in this box to submit instead of new line must be another stupid microsoft decision). Oke, i'm dutch and i fully agree that ie has to move out of IE and a choice selection window with the top 5 browsers should be placed in either popularity or completely at random. Just dear to face it! ie is bad for web developers and it took waaaaaaaaay to much time for microsoft to realise that and make IE8. It's better but still a pita. Use webkit as rendering engine and i will PERHAPS start using ie once a year other then to download firefox/opera/safari and chrome. If you ask me the best thing for the eu is to forbid microsoft from doing buisiness there or ms has to pull out from there out of own movement. I use linux here right now and it requires getting used to but will do the job just fine. Also the games for linux will grow extremely if ms pulls out of eu.. so just do that then simply let ms die like it deserves.

  45. Anonymous says:

    MS has been trying to slim the OS down because of customer complaints (Vista too big and slow) and now the EU wants them to bloat it all up again by including options to install many browsers via a “ballot screen”.  Who's browser gets listed first?  Better let the Eu spell that out lest MS get in trouble again.

  46. Anonymous says:

    If comes Windows7 without IE or with Opera, Firefox or etc., i dont buy Windows7 and close it. I buy Windows for many Money and i want it with the IE! If i want the IE, i can go to Linux or Apple or Solaris! Stay Microsoft! It´s your Product and we want it!!!!

  47. Anonymous says:

    IE will be available through Windows Update. It will just have it's "Suggested Update" re-flagged to "Optional". Just like all the stuff removed is added back in with Windows Live. But customers will have to "choose" to do this, or try figguring out how to use http://FTP.exe to download another browser. Opera should spend quite a bundle either advertising how to FTP Opera or burn a bunch of CD's to mail for free.(2-4 weeks for delivery).  Brilliant move MS. Stir the EU pot without changing anything.(As it should be unless it's a sweeping law that should affect EVERY OS maker that bundles a browser)

  48. Anonymous says:

    Also, to remove IE from WIN 7, all that needs to be done is the exclusion of iexplore.exe. All the other files for IE can be included. You just don't get to launch the browser until you download the .exe (623K)

  49. Anonymous says:

    All of the EU crybabies are getting just what they asked for minus the free lunch that those FOOLS at Opera were expecting.  If their constituents have any brains at all they'll dismantle those buffoons. Congratulations to Opera and the EUC for your epic /fail.  You've been outsmarted by the best…AGAIN.

  50. Anonymous says:

    Where in the US people find it normal to purchase the software they use, Europe has a harder time with it. Estimates are that 60% of all 'companies' are illegally using software products. Then of course many governments have an 'agenda' to migrate towards 'open source' solutions in order to save costs. The EU comission is therefore on a crusade to 'limit' the competativeness of Microsoft in favor of 'open source' solutions. These decissions have nothing to do with what is good for the consumer as thanks to the web all consumetrs are FREE to install anything they want. What truly shows the EU's intent is the fact that Apple Computers has been allowed to bundle products with no protest. iPhones and iTunes are locked into iTunes. Apple is as 'guilty' as Microsoft on all counts but not a peep out of the EU. Another issue of interest is that most so called 'open source' products are actualy 'corporate sponsored' by major hardware companies like Sun and Novell. Therefore an argument could be made that these companies are 'dumping products' (selling under cost) in order to gain an unfair advantage. The EU needs to start focussing on real issues instead of constantly creating new ones.

  51. Anonymous says:

    Why don't you tell the EU to f**k off and mind their own business?  It's like the Ford motor company being forced to sell cars in Europe without steering wheels so that consumers can choose a different make of steering wheel.  Jeez !

  52. Anonymous says:

    @Paulie:   Your lengthy example of a Panasonic TV, while well written, misses the point completely.   1. Panasonic at least where I live is not a monopoly by any stretch of imagination.  2. It’s extremely simple to change batteries and most people would h

  53. Anonymous says:

    Microsoft sells a product (OS) employing the same methods all companies employs. It started with nothing, much like all other companies. Over time its OS was bought by more people than any other OS. Microsoft monopoly came about because customers around the world bought the product, because given all the evil products around; Microsoft OS was the best evil. Microsoft monopoly position was not created by the governments around the world as do governments do with say Power/Electric companies.   If The EU and any other government wants to impose rules to stop majority of consumers to purchase a particular product (because most consumers want it) then the EU and such government MUST impose rules that is fit for both the goose and the gander. Therefore, the EU rule should also be applicable to Apple, IBM (on mainframes) Sun/Oracle, Linux providers, etc.    Microsoft did not event its behavior that made it a monopoly. The behavior Microsoft uses is the same behavior Apple, Sun/Oracle, Google and any other company employees to get the products in consumers hands and to maintain it there. Ultimately consumers will decide if a product is good or not good and make the decision to purchase and stay with a particular product. Consumers around the world have chosen Microsoft’s OS. Governments should not impede my choice in preference to what a few ministers in a government want.   BMW, Mercedes, Opal, Volvo, Fiat, Ford, Renault, Citron and all the others are car manufacturers. They do not manufacturer tires. So why not force them when they sell their new cars to consumers that they are to provide consumers with at least four (4) different sets of tire brands on each car and give me the option of deciding which set of tires I want for my car. Oh, and while at it, why not force the car company to ensure that a car comes with as many axels as possible so that I can have the option of deciding which four axels to use and which tire to use on each axel. Who decides that a car must have four (4) axels, the car company or some government? After all a car can have two or more axels and as many axels the manufacturer wants on it. Why can’t Microsoft decide on what constitutes its own operating system and what component to make and ship it with?  

  54. Anonymous says:

    The EU has already forced MS to remove Media Player from some editions of Windows (the N versions) because others have complained about the unfair advantage MS has with it being included in their OS. True, but nobody is forced to use that – they can download an alternative and use that instead; it is their own choice.    Let's run through this same argument with the inclusion of IE. Again, noone is forced to use IE – there are several other alternatives out there which people can download and use instead. Here lies the crunch, a catch-22 situation. Should the EU force MS to release versions of Windows without IE, just like they have without Media Player (see above), then how do you get online to download an alternative browser?

  55. Anonymous says:

                                    Please. For sanity sake think through your analogies. "They do not manufacturer tires." – Duh! then how does your analogy fit this case?  Let’s take a carmaker with a dominant market position, for example Maruti Suzuki in India. If Suzuki manufacture car stereos as well and bundles them in all their cars. The cars are made in such a way that removing the stereo messes with the wiring system and basically bricks the car. I would be really angry with this situation even if the bundled stereo was better (?) than most others.   Say this aloud. Microsoft is a monopoly. Courts have found it guilty of abusing its dominant position at least once. It can’t be compared to car companies irrespective of the number of axels bundled with the car.  Pradeep    

  56. Anonymous says:

    I think it's quite a great step for microsoft to accept other browsers. But I think it would be much better, if some of the greater browsers, at least IE 8, FF 3.5, Opera 10, Safari and Chrome, are included in the windows package and you could choose which one or which ones you want to install. I don't think this would have a great effect on the packages size and would be much more comfortable, because people not buing there PC and Windows in a normal shop, but like to do it by themselves don't need to download the installer using another PC.    Sorry for my bad english, I'm from Germany…  mfg nikic

  57. Anonymous says:

    This sentence I think is backwards and misleading:         "but a pending legal case raises concerns about the sufficiency of competition among the Web browsers that are available to Windows users in Europe."    Should Say:   "but a pending legal case in Europe raises concerns about the sufficiency of competition among the Web browsers that are available to Windows users."    Yeah, much better.    As a web developer, I yearn for the demise of Microsoft browser options… and people EVERYWHERE are not using IE because it's superior… they are using it because they already have it…     Go ahead and get rid of it in the US too, pretty please.       By the way… how am I supposed to put a line break in this stupid comment form? It's as buggy and hard to work with as your internet browsers are. I had to copy and paste from another document just to get simple comment formatting available on EVERY OTHER BLOG EVER.

  58. Anonymous says:

    Pradeep,  You miss the salient points of the analogy.  (1) Microsoft did not make the rules that put it in a monopoly position. The situations, environments, tactics, strategies Microsoft employed to become what it is were not invented by Microsoft. Microsoft simple applied them and won because it had a better spanner on the market, all other things equal. Therefore to prevent another Microsoft, the EU should work on changing the situation, tactics, strategies, etc companies in general employ to create the possibility of making them into a monopoly. The law must prevent the possibility of the existence of the monopoly not seek to only change the rules AFTER I employ the very law to become a monopoly. The Berlin wall came down not because Germany decided as a government that the wall should come down. Rather the people of Germany made that decision. Communism came down in Russia not because the government chose to get rid of it, rather Communism went because the people decided they no longer wanted it. If Microsoft OS product is no longer needed by the people the people will choose by NOT buying the product.  (2) The points of the car axel are simple these – who determines what a car should look like? Suppose tomorrow a car company comes up with a design that employs 7 axels, is the EU or any other government going to say, no a car cannot have 7 axels? Who should determine what an operating system is or should be included in an operating system, is it the government or the manufacturer of the operating system? In Italy, FIAT could be defined as having a monopoly market position or Renault of France the same. Why should either determine that I, as a consumer, must use Goodyear tire as against Pirelli on the car when I purchase it. Give me the choice to purchase the car and decide on what tire to drive off the car lot with. Do not predetermine for me.  

  59. Anonymous says:

    Jose: You are refusing to recognize that courts in many nations have tried and convicted Microsoft of ABUSING its MONOPOLY position. THAT is why Microsoft is being punished, and not Apple or whomever. Microsoft DID makes the rules that put them into a monopoly position … by engaging in predatory business practices. Learn some history before you claim to know something about it.    Mr.T.Pott: The "car" analogy works better if you use it like this:    1) You need car insurance.    2) 99% of the insurance brokers are from the same company, because that company has used its market power for decades to wipe out or purchase its competition, leaving only a few alternatives, who are thinly spread and far outnumbered by the Company's brokers.    3) So you COULD hunt down on of the alternative brokers, if you knew they existed and where to find them. Ah ha! I found one only 200 miles away … nah, it's easier to use one of the 15 brokers right down the street.    4) You sign up with one of the Company's brokers, and they give you a car. Hey! Cool! Now I don't need to buy a car!    5) But .. what about the other car makers? Isn't it a little bit unfair that the market leader (by a wide margin) is giving away cars AT A LOSS TO ITSELF just to keep the other manufacturer's cars off the road?    Shouldn't any government worth its salt require a wider set of options for its citizens? Shouldn't any government who cares about its citizens and the progression of innovation require that the Company STOP giving away its cars to people who sign up for its insurance programs, so that the other choices become more obvious and easier to obtain?    Incidentally, the EC has basically refused Microsoft's "offer" because they (rightly) think that Microsoft's "offer" of distributing the OS without ANY browser is actually spitting in the face of the EC. Just like they did in response to the security community with the incredibly poorly-designed (and impotent) UAC in Vista, Microsoft is saying, "Well, fine. Screw you! Here's your stinking operating system with no browser. See how you like it!"    Only someone with no knowledge of reality would claim that Microsoft is NOT a company that will play hardball in some very nasty ways with virtually everyone who disagrees with it.

  60. Anonymous says:

    From the "Commission statement on Microsoft Internet Explorer announcement":     "The European Commission notes with interest Microsoft’s announcement of its plans for Windows 7, and in particular of the apparent separation of Internet Explorer (IE) from
    Windows in the EEA. The Commission will shortly decide in the pending browser tying antitrust case whether or not Microsoft’s conduct from 1996 to date has been abusive and, if so, what remedy would be necessary to create genuine consumer choice and address
    the anticompetitive effects of Microsoft’s long-standing conduct. In terms of potential remedies if the Commission were to find that Microsoft had committed an abuse, the Commission has suggested that consumers should be offered a choice of browser, not that
    Windows should be supplied without a browser at all."…/

  61. Anonymous says:

    Will Windows 7 E be released in Switzerland?

  62. Anonymous says:

    To those who keep throwing around the "monopoly" word and harping on the idea that Microsoft is a "convicted monopolist", you should educate yourself a little more about antitrust history.  IBM, Intel, and AT&T are "convicted monopolists" and were accused of business practices as egregious as anything leveled at Microsoft.  Many legal experts expect that Google will receive some form of antitrust sanction in the next year or two.  I don't think that the monopoly-hating Apple fans in the US will stop using their iPhones because they're forced to do business with "convicted monopolist" AT&T.  Every major merger and even significant partnerships (the proposed Google-Yahoo search deal) face antitrust scrutiny.  While many people don't like Microsoft's products, plenty of the companies they do business with have at one time or another faced antitrust challenges to their business of a very similar nature to what Microsoft was "convicted" of.  Finally, as is the case with most of these companies, by the time the legal system gets involved, the supposedly anti-competitive behavior has ceased to support a monopoly position in the market.  There is huge choice now in the browser market, anyone who wants something other than IE has many options easily available.  Is there anyone who is no longer aware that Linux and Mac OSX are available as alternatives to Vista and is Vista so successful it's got them on the run?  MSN is the default home page on IE, is MSN (and Live Search, now Bing), cleaning Google's clock given this enviable position?  Punishing something Microsoft did 10 years ago, to satisfy a third rate competitor today demonstrates the worst aspects of antitrust policy.

  63. Anonymous says:

    Another solution is not to sell Retail versions of Windows 7 in EU. Retail versions is just a small fraction with respect to OEM. Users who want Windows 7 can easily buy it from the Microsoft site as an international download product.  Millions were able to download and install Windows 7 Beta and RC, so millions will buy it the same way.  No taxes to EU, no problems to Microsoft.

  64. Anonymous says:

    OK So I get a new machine with windows 7 and no browser.  What am I supposed to use to connect to the internet to download a browser.  EU administrators and politicians simply have no clue how people use computers today.  The rulings may have had some legitimacy 10 years ago but today there is a thriving browser market.  Message to EU from UK computer user: "Stop making my life more difficult."

  65. Anonymous says:

    can i get this version of windows outside of europe i hope so otherwize ill just take a trip to europe on vaction in october and pick one up

  66. Anonymous says:

    @Ragnar Danneskjöld: Wake up, man.    IBM, AT&T and Intel were, indeed, convicted … just like Microsoft has been … and they all paid for their abuses … except for Microsoft. Why do you think there are so many "Baby Bells" in America, right now? They

  67. Anonymous says:

    The EU is good in stealing peoples tax money, and spent it on party's in Brussels for them self !!! I hate tose "zakkenvullers" as we Dutch people call them.

  68. Anonymous says:

    I'm in a coffee shop (in the U.S.) using Firefox on Linux… I never use I.E.  But I would find it extremely annoying installing Windows 7 (which I will…) without having a browser already on the system.  Sometimes, you just want to get things up and going.  It's not hard installing additional browsers (on my windows system, I have Safari, Chrome, Mozilla, Opera, AND IE).  Now, in Europe, intermediate-users such as myself are going to have to go through a CD-install.  I don't think it's worth the cost… whoops, I forgot to pick up my IE CD at (the European equivalent of) Radio Shack… now I'm going to have to run and grab it again.  Or boot up another computer and download it.  The EU is going to have a ton of headaches when it discovers computer-novices have to call their cousins to go to the internet.  Ridiculous.

  69. Anonymous says:

    Microsoft should tell EU to go f*ck themselves.

  70. Anonymous says:

    I’m not sure what the problem is.  Any computers you buy come preloaded with all sorts of junk by the manufacturer.  I’m very sure that any new computer can come with five or 6 icons on a desktop that will launch whatever browser you want.  I have IE and Chrome on my laptop, and can use either one at will.  I use IE much more often, only because I find it easier not to have to learn a completely new way of surfing.  And if you’re smart enough to do a clean install, I’d expect you to be smart enough to download a browser before the install.

  71. Anonymous says:

    Microsoft was convicted of having a monopoly on computers that run Windows, which is entirely circular reasoning. So Apple is an unconvicted monopolist on hardware that runs their operating system, Nokia on theirs etc etc. Why is the EU even involved in this Opera business. It's made by a company in a country outside the EU.    @James wrote 'In other words, Netscape's (or any other) browser (or media player) could never live up to its potential on a Windows machine because Microsoft engineers had intentionally programmed elements of the core OS to screw up the way certain shared libraries and other hooks into the core behaved when non-Microsoft applications requested their use. Microsoft intentionally sabotaged their competitor's products so that their own products would seem superior." Demonstrably false. Netscape screwed up their own product's chances by poor programming. They had to rewrite the whole thing from scratch to handle non-European web pages properly. Even when AOL bought Netscape they realised they couldn't use the damn thing because it was so awful, and based their browser on IE.

  72. Anonymous says:

    I'm getting a bit tired of people saying Apple is not at monopolist. At least i my country, you can only buy apple computers at the apple store at apple set prices. Whereas every piece of PC hardware is sold via many distributors and dealers. The same goes for Windows.

  73. Anonymous says:

    I often wonder that if the European Union action against Microsoft is successful, other federal, state or city governments could "jump on the bandwagon" and require Microsoft to supply the Windows 7 "E" editions to their territory. Similarly, some organisations may want to prescribe the "E" editions with a competing browser as part of their standard operating environment.  I often wonder wither computer vendors and IT specifiers will have to offer a "browser delete" option in a similar vein to how the motor industry offered a "radio delete" option for their vehicles where you had the option of not having the radio fitted in the car.

  74. Anonymous says:

    Since only E versions would be sold in the EU this will make it impossible for all Europeans to upgrade from Vista to Windows 7 without a clean installation. If this is true it's insane.

  75. Anonymous says:

    @Simon Mackay – organisations who want to install WIn 7 without IE can do it by customising their setup image; they'll be doing that anyway and they can choose the components that go in the image, including whether they want IE 8 or not. @Mike – in the IE

  76. Anonymous says:

    Microsoft MUST include Firefox, Opera and Safari into Windows 7, then give users a real choice of one or more of these ones to be used. I don't understand what are the competing interests and complexity of this choice. DO IT and see! It's best for everyone, included yourself Microsoft.

  77. Anonymous says:

    From the article:  "The Commission also said that, with hindsight, the remedy adopted in its 2004 decision was not effective because there was very limited consumer demand for the versions of Windows without media player."    So instead of getting a clue from the lack of demand for the WMP-less version and just dropping the whole damn thing, they're now forcing the browserless version, which is likely to have just as little demand as the N-edition, on all European customers? Goddamn…    Someone please tell me that, as a EU resident, I'll still be able to legally buy the full version of Windows 7 directly from Microsoft and use it on my computer inside the EU.

  78. Anonymous says:

    Make it Windows 7 EF for European Fail.  Seriously, OEMs can install their own browser, but what are the retail buyers going to do, use an Ubuntu Live CD to get a browser?  Or should we start using apt-get in windows now?  And if MS supplies other browsers (effectively loading the Windows DVD with junk) why just Firefox, Chrome, etc etc? Why not some other 100 browsers out there?  Shouldn't they get a piece of the cake?  Or are we trying to establish a new monopoly over another?  That's crappy.  It's gonna fail as much as the N editions.  What's next? Asking MS to bundle Ubuntu with Windows so users can choose which OS to install? >_> Fail…

  79. Anonymous says:

    I am having a difficult time understanding this. Wherever you are if you buy a copy of Windows it's a choice you are making. If you buy a pc bundled with it you buy it bundled. If you buy a PC unbundled and add some other OS isn't Microsoft or reformat and install something else that's your choice to. Having IE on a copy of Windows hasn't stopped me from knowing other browsers were out there or putting them on my machine. If Microsoft did that it would be real anti-competitiveness. How does one choose what other browsers are on a selection screen and truly be fair about it, when they compete against each other. Is Microsoft judge and jury on that? Surely not..  Also, if I visit Europe and buy a six pack of soda from Coke or Pepsi, will it have a few other cans of something else with it.. Surely not..

  80. Anonymous says:

    Another question comes to mind? If the EU forced Microsoft to include competitors products with Windows how can they effectively support those products as part of Windows. That's a HUGE HUGE problem.. If something doesn't work with someone else's software you are automatically setting Microsoft up for the blame game..

  81. Anonymous says:

    Another question comes to mind? If the EU forced Microsoft to include competitors products with Windows how can they effectively support those products as part of Windows. That's a HUGE HUGE problem.. If something doesn't work with someone else's software you are automatically setting Microsoft up for the blame game..

  82. Anonymous says:

    Also just one more comment. People don't remember Windows without Internet Explorer. I do. It was much more difficult to obtain the CD and or download and install this to your system. Just from the perspective of the USER, it puts Microsoft at a disadvantage when competing against other OSes including free ones. The browser doesn't come with it, so who's gonna buy an OS without a browser? Seems to me like the company who made the complaint will suffer more marketshare loss because it will be more difficult for people to get it in certain situations..

  83. Anonymous says:

    Hi I am from Denmark. If Windows 7 gets IE8 free, I will buy it from USA.

  84. Anonymous says:

    Dear Mr. Dave Heiner, there used to be Windows XP and Windows Vista "N" versions in Europe. What is going to happen? Will you offer in Europe a full version and both "E"  and "N" versions? Or will you only offer the "E" version? Will the Windows Media Player be included then?

  85. Anonymous says:

    Screw Europe.  The EU is resorting to any means possible to punish the successful innovative bus/tech culture in the US.  European tech companies cannot copete on a level playing field, so they have to cook up new ways to punish successful American companies.  This is why most successful tech startups are based in the US.

  86. Anonymous says:

    I totally understand MS's position on this, and I support MS in their decision. In my mind Windows 7 is a fantastic product and I wish you guys every success. I do have 1 question though. How do I get IE8 using the built in ftp client?

  87. Anonymous says:

    There is one thing for to keep in mind: Maybe in the US antitrust law is part of consumer policy, not so in the EU. It is about enforcement of market rules to make way for a free competive market, driven by a market rationale. So you can first of all pull all the grassroots who claim how consumers are harmed by EU competition policy. This does not impress anyone. Second: the EU tells you what to comply with. Your self-imposed remedies are politically irrelevant and won't fix unbalances from 1998. Play evil and suffer the consequences.

  88. Anonymous says:

    I think the point is that the distributer adds a browser to the OS not the manufacturer.  As 90% of OS's are Windows they have an unequal advantage by only providing the OS with IE or WMP included, however if you allow the manufacturer to do it there is more choice as the manufacturer can decide for themselves what the consumer demands – if that is still IE and WMP then so be it.

  89. Anonymous says:

    This is so stupid. How will I download FireFox/Chrome/… without a browser on my PC, without going through a lot of hazzle?

  90. Anonymous says:

    Such gibberish ! I support Microsoft who have invested immensely to develop Windows & and it's added features such as IE8. After all, the choice to use any browser on Windows continues to be available for all. Can't the competitors focus on developing their businesses rather than destroying others' businesses? I wonder what will come next from the EC . . Thankfully, I'm not in Europe

  91. Anonymous says:

    I am happy that Microsoft is making a decision to take themselves out of the role as the EU's personal ATM.  The browser is a key component that the average user expects to see.  There is nothing to stop them from adding a new one if they choose.  

  92. Anonymous says:

    I want IE8 in Windows 7. Why unnecessarly creating problems about browsers??? Opera r u happy now? I don't like Opera… useless Opera browser. I like IE8. EU also looking like a DOG. I hate the WORLD….

  93. Anonymous says:

    I think EU doesn’t know anything about PC and the Internet. No one will benefit from the "E" version of windows.  This is just like the time when EU was thinking of banning cookies on the Internet! And to Opera: Thank you for making the life more difficult for every European PC user instead of just making a better browser!  Now I do not vote for EU anymore and I have stopped using Opera completely!

  94. Anonymous says:

    Few people seem to recall that back in the days of the DOJ antitrust case against MS there was one significant point made against Microsoft that they didn't allow hardware manufacturers to remove desktop icons (e.g. the one for IE) and/or install/promote rival browsers. The OEMs feared the cost resulting from having to support two browsers so that they would mostly stick with IE – which was in effect anticompetetive behavior on Microsoft's part. The OEM choice of preinstalling a preferred browser is exactly what the EU finally forces upon Microsoft.

  95. Anonymous says:

    This is just ridiculous! Don't remove things we want, just because someone don't want it. They can still install Opera, and whatever they want – it's pathetic that any organization can force you to not give away stuff you make, just because you are the best at it. It's hypocracy, if you are a citizen in the EU, you can't choose which rules, regulations, and laws you don't want included in that package, can you? Hell, distribute a standard Windows 7, and during installation, ask "Do you want the full package, or do you want the reduced version without all the cool features we do?" and let people choose it. Now I am just imagining all the whining and bitching there will be, because opera fanboys don't have a browser to go to opera's homepage to get that browser instead. Now I can only imagine how people will whine that you buy the most modern OS out there, but can't do something as basic as browse the internet. Backstep in technology, I say, narrow sighted and ridiculous!

  96. Anonymous says:

    – And besides, if Microsoft really had any competition worth a fight, they wouldn't be whining about this, they would have made it easier, and better, for everyone to get it and use it – there's probably a reason why my website still reports 91.1% IE visitors… or?

  97. Anonymous says:

    (Sigh, return button sent the post, sorry for double posting)    This punishes application developers on Windows platform then it hurts Microsoft.    As a developer for Windows platform I see the Windows operating system as a application platform. A platform which I use to support my applications. On an application platform I would expect certain capabilities to be provided, for instance: A filesystem, a mediaplayer, a internet browser. These capabilties I should be able to integrate in my applications. Often I would be using ActiveX to do that.    Ripping away one core component hurts the software companies that work and do business in EU, the customer will end up with the bill.    Often there are good replacements for media player or browsers for end users (Opera and Chrome for instance) but not so much for application developers. Often a cost is attached or a viral license.    Distributing IE 8 with my apps isn't cost free either as it adds to the payload and complexity but also as a customer that opt out from using IE 8 I wouldn't appreciate if a software I installed pushed IE 8 on my machine never mind the technical issues.    I just wonder what is the next step, to remove the filesystem?    With that said I look forward to purchase a MacBook without Safari on it.    

  98. Anonymous says:

    I would buy Windows without IE. Wait until everyone finds out that if you have different tabs open which utilise different usernames and paswords, IE will log you out of the other tabs if you sign in to a new app on the active tab. That really, really sucks.

  99. Anonymous says:

    This is mainly a reply to everyone who is saying this rule should be applied to Linux for “bundling” firefox.    Let me just ask, how many of you have used Linux and how many of you think that Ubuntu = Linux?     Linux is an OS BASED on user choices! YOU choose the Distro (Ubuntu (and derivatives), Mandriva, Suse, Red Hat, Fedora, Slackware, Gentoo, to name but a few) YOU choose the desktop environment (KDE, Gnome, Fluxbox, Xfce again but a few) YOU choose your MEDIA PLAYER (Rythembox, Amarok, Audacious, Totem, yadda yadda) YOU choose your WEB BROWSER (Firefox, Konqueror, Ice Weasel, Epiphany…)  YOU choose the file manager… but I think you get the point by now…    If you don't like firefox being the default web browser in Linux, try using KDE, Konqueror is your file manager AND web browser, similar to explorer and IE!    So to be honest, is Linux not already doing this to a MUCH greater degree than MS, with there maybe 3 or 4 version per release (although they hardly match up to the equivalent of different distros) 1 file manager, 1 desktop environment, 1 media player and 1 web browser that it comes with, and most of which either cannot be changed (without GREAT heartache , frustration etc.) or cannot be uninstalled.    Oh, and to those of you who say firefox cannot be uninstalled in Ubuntu… I'm posting this on Ubuntu 9.04, in Epiphany after completely removing firefox… and guess what… Ubuntu is NOT broken!

  100. Anonymous says:

    Is it unlawful to offer your Paint, Calculator, or Notepad "accessories" too? You're essentially providing tools that could possibly eliminate competition for those products. Correct? IE is a pain for web developers, yet it's the most used web browser because it is part of windows. Take IE8… It has a "compatibility view" button because it doesn't render pages according to the w3c standards for HTML, XHTML, XML, et cetera. Instead Microsoft defines their own web standards in an attempt to "streamline the user experience." — So not only does IE get market share it doesn't necessarily deserve, but it also changes standards set by the industry and expects web developers to update their code to work with their browser. How's this idea?: Make the "compatibility view" button switch on Microsoft's features and give us the default of a standards compliant browser? That way only websites that are using IE's unique features will need to use the button and not the other way around. There are more standards compliant websites out there than there are Microsoft IE compliant.

  101. Anonymous says:

    @Marc wrote "The OEM choice of preinstalling a preferred browser is exactly what the EU finally forces upon Microsoft." …. OEMs have been able to preinstall other software and browsers for years. See for example the guide here:

  102. Anonymous says:

    To all residents of the UK – please lobby your local Member of Parliament with the need for a referendum to choose whether to remain in the Eoropean Commission or Not! This EU complaint regarding Microsoft and their superb operating systemsand internet browser(s) is typical of the commissions's nonsensical rules. It is high time that the United Kingdom said goodbye to the EU commission before we are entirely ruined as an independent nation.

  103. Anonymous says:

    <P>Thanks all for the many comments posted here.  I’d like to address a few of the most common questions and themes in the comments.</P>  <P>A number of people have asked if versions of Windows 7 including IE will be offered by Microsoft in Europe.  The answer is “no,” for legal reasons (explained in the post), but anyone, including computer manufacturers, will be free to install IE on Windows 7.  So consumers who want Windows 7 with IE will be able to purchase new PCs configured that way.  Regardless of which browser is initially installed by the PC manufacturer, the purchaser will always be free to install any additional browser, as is the case today.</P>  <P>Several people have asked how they can download a browser if they don’t have a browser.  The short answer is that most people will get Windows 7 on a new PC and the PC manufacturer will undoubtedly install a browser at the factory.  People who want to upgrade a PC they already own to Windows 7 will have at least two ways to install a browser. Some companies, like Microsoft, will make browsers available at the retail point of purchase. People can also save their preferred browser on any storage device, and then install it as part of the upgrade.  We’ll provide instructions on this and other ways of getting a browser together with the retail release of Windows 7.</P>  <P>@spotonornot:  You suggest that IE 8 should default to standards compliance mode, and offer a separate “compatibility” mode only when needed for viewing older Web sites that were coded to older versions of IE. That is quite a good idea. In fact, that is how IE 8 works! Check it out <A class="" href="…/just-the-facts-recap-of-compatibility-view.aspx" target=_blank mce_href="…/P>  <P>A number of people suggest that because governments have found that Windows is dominant (or a “monopoly,” in U.S. competition law parlance), (1) that means it is wrong to include IE in Windows, (2) Microsoft should be “punished” for this and (3) the outcome of this case will not affect other companies.  It is true that courts in the U.S. and Europe have affirmed rulings by government agencies that Windows is dominant in desktop operating systems.  But the other three points do not follow from this legal determination.  That is because it is not unlawful simply to attain a dominant position. (In fact, all companies are encouraged to compete vigorously to attain such success).  If a firm is dominant, its business decisions will be scrutinized more closely.  Competition law asks: Do particular business decisions tend to exclude competitors from the marketplace?  Do these decisions benefit or harm consumers?  These are the questions that must be answered before deciding whether including a particular feature in Windows is acceptable or not.  (As noted in the post, the European Commission has offered its preliminary view on the answers to these questions and that is why Microsoft has adjusted its plans for Windows 7 in Europe.)   </P>  <P>So the observation that Windows is a monopoly is just the beginning of the analysis, not the end of it (point 1).  If a business decision is found to be unlawful under competition law, the relevant government agency will seek changes to promote competition, but usually not to “punish” the dominant firm (point 2).  Finally, competition law applies to all dominant firms, and there are many of these (any firm with roughly 40% share in a product category could be seen as dominant.).  Legal precedents established in the Microsoft case will, over time, be looked to when judging the business decisions of other dominant firms as well (point 3).</P>

  104. Anonymous says:

    I appreciate the comments about not being able to download an alternative browser without having an initial browser to do it on. I think the sensible options would be to either provide a menu during setup asking which browser the user would like (with a bit of info about the benefits of each), then setup downloads it for them, or, IE could be installed along with say Firefox, then the user can uninstall or simply not use the browser they don't want to stick with. On the point about IE being pre-installed and it being seen as bad for competition, what about Safari, which comes pre-installed with every Mac? I hate to side with Microsoft but surely the same rules have to apply across the board?

  105. Anonymous says:

    Knowing well EU practices, I think you should appeal their decisions and not remove Internet Explorer.  I bet they'll find something new to fine you. Don't you understand that it's a war?

  106. Anonymous says:

    @Adam: There are many browsers out there. I imagine all the ones that aren't included on such a list would kick up a stink. I can't imagine that Opera would be happy about Firefox being preinstalled (as it is already on many European computers).   The EU'

  107. Anonymous says:

    Just in the case, that I want to use Firefox with Windows 7 – how will I be able to download it from a browserless OS? I like FF more than IE, but how stupid is it in 2009 to force MS to deliver a OS without browser?     I hope, that the EC will allow MS to deliver Win7 with IE8. If not, the EC should also force Apple to deliver OSX without Safari, Linux Distros without Mozilla / FF and so on….    Maybe the EC memebers stoll live in the 1980´s … 😉

  108. A says:

    There must be a court SOMEWHERE in the world where the EU can be charged with extortion.

  109. Anonymous says:

    Windows 7 should not ship in Europe, maybe then someone will stand up and ask what this bureuacrats in Brussels are up to. Bureuacrats, protect the customers, don't play games with the companies, you are not up to it anyway!

  110. Anonymous says:

    This is why I will vote NO to Lisbon in October. Someone needs to control this Bureaucrats and Lisbon is not the answer to it.

  111. Anonymous says:

    How can you be in favor of monopolists?  Now, M$'s greed is making us suffer with its windows genuine advantage renamed to activation.  Imagine what M$ can do if we let them gain more power.  I am glad that EU is putting a stop to this monopoly.  Competition is the best way to go forward, not monopolies, especially greedy heartless ones like M$.  

  112. Anonymous says:

    I agree with Torben. If the EC don't allow the normal version of Windows 7 to be sold in Denmark, I'll import it from the USA.    One important thing I learnt from studying industrial economics is the need to be cautious. Intervention in the activities of existing firms should be a last resort, because it is extremely difficult to know what the result will be. This is different from merger cases, where the status quo is no merger, so the outcome of blocking a merger is more readily knowable.    Unfortunately, it seems that the DGCOMP is run by interventionists, who see intervention not as a last resort, but as a first response. The Windows XP Edition N fiasco is a perfect example of why this approach is wrong. That particular débâcle happened before Neelie Kroes took office, so I don't think she is necessarily to blame for this extreme interventionism, but if she can't reign in the interventionist bureaucrats, she ought to resign, and make way for someone who can.

  113. Anonymous says:

    Common this issue is like this. Its like requiring a Japanese made car for sale in Europe with-out a gasoline or oil in it, so that buyers can choose a gasoline or oil brand they want not the gasoline or oil that this manufaturer choose to fill it. All this in the name of compitition! Then you have the problem of pushing the car to the nearest petrol station of your choice. I doubt if those people it EC can help you push it from the dealer to the nearest petrol station!  If this can happen now, then time will come that when you buy a car in Europe the dealer will ask you to choose the gasoline or oil brand you want and direct the buyers to push the car to the nearest petrol station of your brand. Ha ha, What a mess!  

  114. Anonymous says:

    The main problem I see with this whole idiot ruling is that no-one in the EU will be able to upgrade their PC from vista or presumably Win7 RC. So six months of use and customisation of my system will be lost at a stroke and I will have to start from scratch. Will US retailers be allowed to sell to us poor cusins out here in the boondocks?

  115. Anonymous says:

    The main problem I see with this whole idiot ruling is that no-one in the EU will be able to upgrade their PC from vista or presumably Win7 RC. So six months of use and customisation of my system will be lost at a stroke and I will have to start from scratch. Will US retailers be allowed to sell to us poor cusins out here in the boondocks?

  116. Anonymous says:

    Hello all!    I was hoping to find a positive answer to this question but I guess I was let down & completely disappointed. When managing lots of files, nothing becomes more simple than pressing a button. It's true that you can use the keyboard or the Organize Menu, but that takes more time/clicks if you're mostly working with a mouse. I don't know why a feature that has been on Windows since 3.11 (maybe more) and as simple as just placing a button on the mostly empty toolbar is so hard to implement. Besides, this completely departs from Microsoft's own vision of having to click less, and dig less though menus (Ribbon Toolbar in Office and even in MS Paint!!). Also, right clicking (adds one more click) gets stuck in thinking, maybe for the properties or such, but it doesn't show up right away, so it takes time.    As much as Microsoft wants to make Windows their own, and with their own mind, why not make some (or many) power users happy by providing ways to customize the toolbars just like with Windows XP. Most users were fine with (XP) the simple Search, Back & Forward buttons on Windows XP, maybe because they had no clue they could customize. But then we, the power users, would customize AND recommend to customize the toolbars. Would it be that from now on we should start recommending Ubuntu? It's just for managing files after all. Nothing to do with applications!    I hope Microsoft finds a way to let us work faster (as MS promotes its products – which would also save energy – be green) and be happier (as the new ads – and being green) with just a simple "Customize Toolbar" option on the Windows 7 Explorer toolbar which, the way it currently is, it's mostly empty.    Thanks for providing this blog, since the I have yet to find the Send Feeback link in the Win7 RC.

  117. Anonymous says:

    Perhaps this is a stupid question but does Windows 7 shipping without IE8 mean that all remnants will also be removed. I realize that Microsoft has discarded Visual Basic 6.0 but will the Webbrowser Control (shdocvw.dll, etc) be disallowed as well and not be included with the operating system?

  118. Anonymous says:

    Blablabla ..  when one of MAC's advantages is being an integrated solution..  Some crazy haters are able to make MS ship an OS without a Web Browser, pathetic. Said milions of time, but I want then the IPHONE (which I own) being shiped without safari, googlephone without.. this without and that without.  PAthetic.  This is so stupid, but we are in a stupid world. Don't be afraid, Windows update will offer it simply and quickly.  

  119. Anonymous says:

    Well what a load of bs firstly from the EU and then from MS. I think an o/s without a browser in this day and age is just nothing short of stupid. What about the people who havent got a way of downloading IE now? There are many applications with use IE even if you havent got internet access.  It would have been a lot easier if microsoft simply didnt have IE installed but included it on the disk so that it could be installed.   Frankly though having a OS disk without a browser on it to install to me is going to be a no go. Where I was eagerly waiting for Seven to come out and frankly was going to rush out an buy it after being a beta and rc tester has convinced me this is my next os from XP after skipping vista this stunt now has again made me think on whether the Seven version that I am having is up to the same quality as the version that has ie bundled. On the one hand they have said that it couldnt be removed and in doing so would cripple the OS and on the other hand now they have said right its been ripped out……..hmmmm is it only me that is wondering if they have made the system run as well as the origonal bundled version or they have simply ripped out the guts and quickly patched it up for sale. Will it be as secure now as the other version? as good? How will we know?   Thank you very much EU again you have limited our choices without considering us.  Have you gone after Sony because I can only play their games on my ps3? Have you gone after Apple because they also bundle their own software? Really EU I can understand you wanting to stop monopolys but wheres the other actions against all the other monopolising companys? So do Linux users now have to do the same? stop bundling? They dont bundle IE now do they (I am a linux user btw). Its a joke.  Microsoft please at least put a copy of IE on the bleeding disk otherwise your stupidity in trying to play EU at their own game by removing IE completely so we have to download it will cost you at least another 3 sales personally  from this customer as well as the hundreds of Eu customers that I deal with every month.

  120. Anonymous says:

    What is the world comming to.  if the competition wants there browser on your os why dont they make there own os to pu it on and stock harrassing microsoft. all other browsers have a choice and it seems they want to take down anyone not on there side of the net.

  121. Anonymous says:

    Can an E key only be used with E install media.?

  122. Anonymous says:

    How many of you idiots did completely miss the fact that it will be the OEMs that pick the browser for you?!? Yes, Acer or Dell or who the heck ever will pick a "preliminary browser" for you.. and guess what? Microsoft is probably going to offer them some goodie for picking IE anyway. And for those 1% of you who actually buy (or copy) a Windows 7 install media… if you are bright enough to install an OS but not bright enough to download a browser and burn it to a CD, then i do think you should consider buying pre installed machines…. are we clear?    I welcome this very much for a very simple reason: now i can expect that things like Windows Update and whatnot will actually work *without* having the program with the worst security record *ever* installed…    Next i hope they are forced to unbundle Media Player.. And no, don't think for a second that your computer will come without a player.. it will just come with one that supports more formats, uses less CPU power, has the option to backup your media licenses, has a more intuitive UI etc etc    well.. that is just my two cent 🙂    Have a nice day

  123. Anonymous says:

    Like many others, I am English, and am embarrassed to be so, our country is a joke, run by non brits, legislated to death and not free to do anything unless Brussels says so. viva la revolution!!    and shipping windows without a browser is so stupid it beggars belief.

  124. Anonymous says:

    Will the new google chrome os be required to ship without a browser? I think not! EC is picking on Microsoft because they are have the largest market share. Will mac os have to ship without Safari? How about the many flavours of linux? will it be made illegal for them to ship with firefox? The EC have made a blantant victimisation of M$ here. Dont get me wrong im not a fan boy and microsoft wind me up a weekly basis with some of the ways things work but i think this kind of blatant discribination is wrong.    One rule for Microsft another for everyone else!

  125. Anonymous says:

    Microsoft – you claim to be committed to the same release date in EU, but US can already preorder Windows 7 update at around $49. Is that sort of price going to be available in the EU?

  126. Anonymous says:

    This is fantastic news, I really dislike the earlier versions of IE and although the latest version is a million times better, it still falls behind Firefox, Opera and Chrome in my opinion. It could even be enough for me to purchase Windows 7 after the beta expires on my new computer, rather than switching permanently to Linux or using a spare XP or 2000 license.    The problem however is that this is too late for the web to recover nicely, we'll always suffer a bit from the mistakes made in IE's rendering and JScript engines. Also, Exchange webmail will need to support all it's features in a standards compliant way before we can finally ditch IE for good.

  127. Anonymous says:

    I find it increasingly frustrating that due to useless European dogma and the Nanny State mentality,  that we in the UK end up being charged more for software that offers less than our US counterparts, i.e No browser and only one sytem version per disk (32bit or 64bit).  Why can we not excercise freedom of choice (democracy)and if we should wish to do so, buy direct from the US

  128. Anonymous says:

    What the hell has this go to do with the EUSSR anyway?    I suppose it's all part of their Common Purpose.  

  129. Anonymous says:

    Surely the answer here isn't to make sure that Windows 7 ships without an internet browser, but that the operating system isn't reliant on the browser to perform core tasks (such as Microsoft Updates or only allowing http downloads from their volume licensing portal using IE8!).    As long as the browser isn't a "required component" of the core operating system then there should be no harm in shipping Windows 7 with IE8 and allowing users to REPLACE it or ADD their own choice of browser without affecting core functionality of their PC. (am I the only person who found the integrated nature of Outlook Express even more annoying than IE?)    I appreciate what the EU are trying to do here (if MS have broken the law they should pay the due penalty), but forcing MS to either remove their browser or even add additional browsers to the distribution is not the answer. The answer is simply to get MS to ensure the OS and browser are completely independent of one another, so no matter which browser a user chooses, they will not lose core functionality of the OS.    With the announcement that Google are building a new OS based on the Chrome browser, surely this will infringe on what the EU are trying to achieve with MS – you can't have one set of rules just for one company just because they are dominating a market. The fact that Google are designing their new OS around their browser is on the basis that the Internet is becoming central to almost all PC functionality. And let's be honest, the majority of home users buy their PC's for accessing the Internet, so surely the inclusion of a browser is the primary reason for choosing the OS? Shipping Windows 7 without a browser is going to cause a headache to the majority of users and could leave a lot of people hugely inconvenienced.    In reality the majority of people continue to choose MS based systems even though cheaper Linux distro based systems are commonly available on the UK market, and I believe this is simply down to the fact that no-one has made an OS that can compete for ease of use and familiarity yet… while Apple have made a fantastic effort with their OS, their own need to buy Mac hardware to use it prevents many people from adopting it as a real alternative.

  130. Anonymous says:

    I want to withdraw funding to the EU because they are too god dammed stupid to be creating policy.    How dumb is that idea !  If people want an alternative browser then can use IE to download it!  It's not like we pay for any of these browsers anyway so why the hell make life difficult for people.    For crying out loud – has the EU got nothing better to do?!  Bunch of idiots!F

  131. Anonymous says:

    I think a better solution here would have been to make IE uninstallable, but still ship it with Windows 7.    I was of the impression that the main bone of contention was that no matter what the user did, IE was integral to the operating system and could not be removed, which is a fundamental difference to *nix and mac where a bundled browser is just an application and can be uninstalled if the user desires.    Giving the uninstall option gives the user choice (which I am all for), but means that the OS is not shipped in a crippled state unable to browse the web without installing an app via external media.

  132. Anonymous says:

    I'm English and therefore European by definition, I welcome the decision by Microsoft to comply with our laws, it's a shame they didn't do this earlier. I will not be choosing to use IE8 as it is too closly tied to the OS and I don't feel comfortable exposing the OS to the Internet.    The EU does a lot or good work, I agree with this ruling, now if only we could force you to allow MSN messenger to go multi-platform properly.

  133. Anonymous says:

    I'm sure in the end IE8 will just be an optional update via Win Update for Win 7E users – all they'll have to do is check the box and press install.  I like Opera but their action has been pretty thoughtless in my opinion, if they want market share they need to start promoting their browser to normal people instead of geeks like me.  Also Opera widgets need a big kick up the bum too, i spent ages looking through them all for features that matched my Firefox extentions but couldn't find any.  

  134. Anonymous says:

    I am ashamed to be European with all their pathetic laws.  They spend billions of pounds pursuing law suits that we are not bothered about.  In fact, I want IE included with Windows.  If I want another browser, I can easily install a different one.  But now, how do I install a browser if I can't browse the web to find the website where I can download the browser from?    The EU parliament is just a joke.

  135. Anonymous says:

    The problem with this is that you can argue where does it end? Media players, web browsers so far, but how about text editors, command prompts, memory managers, file systems, ATA disk drivers… Can you imagine, Windows 12 'E' only including ntoskrnl and that's it – because other companies make competing versions of all the rest of the current OS.  Daft.  And considering all browsers are free (to my knowledge) how can you compete free with free? If it's free then the company isn't making money out of it, and none of the browsers have built in adverts.  The EC would be better releasing their own web browser by forcing all of MS/Google/Opera/Apple to cooperate and produce a single EU browser. That would benefit consumers as it would give consistent web viewing to all, irrespective of country/OS.   Imagine if there were five OSs each with equal market share. I decide to write a piece of commercial software. Now I have to develop it five times as there's an equal chance that potential customers could have any OS. My development costs go up by five times. That doesn't help me as developer or the consumer, I probably wouldn't bother. Either that or all software gradually gets more and more expensive as other OS slowly take market share from Windows.  Until people try and write their apps in Java (and make the perform well), until the EC decide that Java is anti-competetive.  etc.

  136. Anonymous says:

    I do not like the idea that Windows 7 will not have Internet Explorer on it.    It will mean when you get a new computer with Windows 7, you can not do any Internet Browsing.    It will mean:    Going to the shops to look for computer mags with free a CD to get your browser, But might find that browser will not work with Windows 7.    I think you should include Internet Explorer as part of Microsoft updates.    You need a browser to download Virus and Firewall programs, without a browser you are open to attack from the outside world from Virus, Hacking.    Thanks

  137. Anonymous says:

    I feel that Windows 7 should come with Internet Explorer as standard, at least it is updated regularly against security threats. Who knows what loopholes could be exploited in other browsers, or it could even create a market for dodgy browsers pre loaded with spyware and other nastys for the inexperienced. IE as standard but with the option for other browsers for more experienced users

  138. Anonymous says:

    Personal computers should now be considered as consumer appliances.  No one complains that there is no choice other than Ford Music units in Ford cars.  Nor are you expected to arrive with pre-ordered tyres before collecting a new car.    Initial Web site access for drivers, essential updates, definitely an urgent need to update, upgrade and add additional security products; means that the automated setup of a machine must include a driven installation and basic configuartion of a browser.    What is needed is something akin to the search providers choice, where there are 6 or 7 in the initial list and an option to search for more.  Build the list with IE 8 and Firefox and several more according to user download fro upgrades (so not biased by existing forced provision of IE).  Make a user selection mandatory, but set no default.  Permit the default to be set by an optional (not present normally) attribute in the setup config, so that system builders and Company IT departments can chose to enforce say both Firefox and IE (with IE Tab would be even better.)    I have been convinced for more than 20 years that Microsoft would achive dominance and remain market leaders, because they provide an integrated working environment that can be managed as a consistent whole and they have this position because consumers have voted with their feet and their wallets.  Remember WP for Windows?  What happened to Wordstar?  If those companies had challenged and not allowed Word 2.0 to sweep them away, the desktop market would be a very different place.    Vista and WinME (and MS-DOS 4) are the only hiccups in the steady advance of our 'net' computing experience.  Windows 7 is everything that Vista should have been.  I detoured my 'company' almost entirely away from Vista, but I will be leading W7's adoption.  What would hinder this is the EU causing consumer bad experience due not producing workable regulations.    EU action is pointless, unless they think that they can enforce Walmart etc to retail with another browser installed as the default in their builds.

  139. Anonymous says:

    If comes Windows7 without IE or with Opera, Firefox or etc., i dont buy Windows7 and close it. I buy Windows for many Money and i want it with the IE! If i want the IE, i can go to Linux or Apple or Solaris! Stay Microsoft! It´s your Product and we want it!

  140. Anonymous says:

    This is one huge red herring.    Don't be fooled by Microsoft's bleating on this subject. Their choice not to include IE on Windows 7 like this is a case of sour grapes and won't really affect IE installation at all.    Do you really think they will ship 7E without a browser AND without a simple app to download IE? It will be trivial to do install IE8 once you are connected to the Internet, and you will still have to install IE if you want another browser, unless you have it on CD from a magazine cover disk or similar.    Microsoft knows this, but could so easily have shipped Windows7 with an installer for IE and installers for a few other browsers. It wouldn't have taken long to test this, and with this announcement being made on June 11, and release to manufacturer being mid-to-late July, they have had over a month to sort a more user friendly option out.    Even better – spend some time developing a browser people WANT to use and not the slow functionally stunted mess that is IE.    Although I make my living developing software using MS products, I can recognise it for the predatory, unethical company it is.    I just wonder if the EU will be clever enough to figure out this avoidance of their obligations for what it is, and do something about it.

  141. Anonymous says:

    I am very annoyed with the UU regualtors attitude in regards to Microsoft bundling IE8 with Windows. I would say that 75%+ of people would like to have IE8 installed with Windows. I personally think the EU regulators are after MS's £££ and flaunting and abusing their powers. Has their even been a vote by the general public on this issue?    In hindsight, IE8 may eliminate some of the competition, but as stated elsewhere, users are free to download Firefox, Chrome, Opera, etc if they want.    Very disappointed with the EU regulators.    From a user in the UK.

  142. Anonymous says:

    Windows 7 Release killed Amazon Servers. I am really awaiting this great piece of software.

  143. Anonymous says:

    do i mind windows 7 coming without ie8 no cos i use firefox do i mind having to do a clean install yes because i will have to reinstall and then set up lots of programs that i have already optimised for the way i use them. I will have to dig out loads of disks to do the reinstalls and hope i can find the serial numbers that came with them. I will have to try and remember lots of passwords that firefox had stored why ? If widows 7 came with ie8 i would still download and use firefox ,just cos its on the os dosn't mean i have to use it. ie8 is already on my copy of vista cos i chose to upgrade from ie 7 in case i wanted to use it. so if its on my pevious os cos i chose to put it there should that mean i have to do a clean install cos the eu say that it restricts choice if the browser is carried over from a previous os even though I may want it. i use vlc as well as media player having media player with the os dosn't stop me using other viewers. this whole fiasco just helps restrict choice and makes life difficult

  144. Anonymous says:

    I've heard that Google is going to launch their very own OS and it is going to be free best of all. What are Microsoft's thoughts on this?

  145. Anonymous says:

    I can only shake my head at this utterly stupid circus… This is what happens when politicians gets involved and starts to decide what Consumers should use or buy.     There is pleanty of competition and regulation as it is and the European Union and the EU Comission does NOT contribute to any sorts of competition with their stupid witch hunt.    This is like saying to the Germany car manufacture Mercedes, that they are not allowed to sell their cars with a wheel because they have more market sharen then General Motors does. It's complete and utter gaga and I hope indeed that you appeal the ruling by the EU Comission.     I am a european myself and I am not at all angry at Microsofts decission to ship out an "E"-version of Windows, but rather at the obvious lobbyism and the stupidity that rules in the european union.     If people do not want to make use of Internet explorer, fine, but let us who like Internet explorer and find it a superb browser use it without being told what to do by the EU Comission.     *shakes my head*    /w regards  Martin.

  146. Anonymous says:

    I really don't care if IE is installed or not.  If I want to use it, I will if it is there or install it later. If I want to use another browser, then I will install it.    The Big issue to me is that there will be no upgrade – it will need a re-install of everything and my data.  This is what I can really really really do without. (Also, I want to upgrade from Windows XP as well – I put off going to Vista knowing that the next release would be what Vista should have been!).    PS. Any chance MS can get us, in the UK, a referendum to get out of the Euro madhouse|?

  147. Anonymous says:

    Now if I want to upgrade to windows 7 I have to buy it in United States ? This stupid comercial wars will desrtoy many potential users and will afect most of users who need to upgrade. There should be the ability to upgrade, many programs lose their license if the are just deleted and that means to purchease them again…

  148. Anonymous says:

    Now if I want to upgrade to windows 7 I have to buy it in United States ? This stupid comercial wars will desrtoy many potential users and will afect most of users who need to upgrade. There should be the ability to upgrade, many programs lose their license if the are just deleted and that means to purchease them again…

  149. Anonymous says:

    Kokta, I think you got me wrong I think that EU should not determine the default browser in any OS but Microsoft's decision to disable upgrade for european users (not politicians) will of course affect many users and sounds quite infantile (you do me bad I do you bad even if other people remain affected)

  150. Anonymous says:

    As an European citizen I look forward to solve these issues to fill legal gaps in your way.

  151. Anonymous says:

    I'm sure microsoft will find a olutin to resolve this isssue. In europe there are big giants like sap which is microsoft's competitor who might like decreasing its market share.

  152. Anonymous says:

    This is like saying to the Germany car manufacture Mercedes, that they are not allowed to sell their cars with a wheel because they have more market sharen then General Motors does.

  153. Anonymous says:

    There is an extra installations disk with IE on it. So you don't have to download it!    It's a good thing that IE has to be installed sepperatly. IE is one of the worst browsers that doesn't meet the web-standards at all. So it is almost impossible to build a website that works on all browsers. I am a web-developper, and we always have to put exeptions in de code in case of the vieuwer uses a version of IE. We alsno need to put in exepections for almost all versions of IE since IE changes the way websites are shown in every version.    For that matter it's a good thing. Even better was that the user can choose wich browser (IE, FireFox, Chrome, Safari etc.) they want at the installation of windows. But i'l think this is fair enough for the webdeveloppers in Europe.

  154. Anonymous says:

    The truth is always a compound of two half- truths, and you never reach it, because there is always something more to say.                  

  155. Anonymous says:

    Do not envy a sinner; you don't know what disaster awaits him.                  

  156. Anonymous says:

    Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.                  

  157. Anonymous says:

    I apologise, but you could not give more information

  158. Anonymous says:

    allows level future attributable energy depends

  159. Anonymous says:

    I'm a fraid to upgrade vista to Windows 7.Does anybody have problems with Windows 7 E?

  160. Anonymous says:

    I wonder what if they can't fulfill the legal side. Europeans won't use W7 while US and Asia Pacific use it and it is spreading wide all over the world. Interesting case, wondering the result.

  161. Anonymous says:

    Okay this is ludicrous.  Is that how you spell it?    Anyway whether it is in Europe or the U.S. how can anyone tell Microsoft, a private company, that they can't include something, I.E., in their product.  It is their product, nobody has to buy it.      ridiculous.

  162. Anonymous says:

    why is it that politicians think they have a right to say what can be produced as a product?    who cares if ie comes with windows 7, if i don't want to use it, i don't have to.      don't they know you can choose your default browser?    dumb

  163. Anonymous says:

    Great post. I like your writing style very much. But I'm a fraid to upgrade vista to Windows 7.Does anybody have problems with Windows 7 E?

  164. Anonymous says:

    The Big issue to me is that there will be no upgrade – it will need a re-install of everything and my data.  This is what I can really really really do without. (Also, I want to upgrade from Windows XP as well – I put off going to Vista knowing that the next release would be what Vista should have been!).

  165. Anonymous says:

    What does this mean for European consumers?

  166. Anonymous says:

    I was using vista till 3 days a go but I tried windows 7 and like it.

  167. Anonymous says:

    Hopefully the process of the matter for the Europe commission doesn't get too out of hand. I would think the bundle Microsoft is providing would be a great ideal for Europe, and a huge start in business over there.

  168. Anonymous says:

    Win7 seems like the best operating system so far. I are for it.

  169. Anonymous says:

    Good news, the judge commander closed the incident with microsoft's benefit.

  170. Anonymous says:

    Cool site, love the info.  I do a lot of research online on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say I'm glad I found your blog.  Thanks,    A definite great read…    – Bill Bartmann

  171. Anonymous says:

    It seems you can now buy Windows 7 with IE8 included in the UK.  I'm just glad I got my pre-order in for the E version as I hate IE and will be glad to finally be rid of it.

  172. Anonymous says:

    I will try a real copy of windows 7, before I would ever use a cut down E version.

  173. Anonymous says:

    I like Opera but their action has been pretty thoughtless in my opinion, if they want market share they need to start promoting their browser to normal people instead of geeks like me.  Also Opera widgets need a big kick up the bum too,

  174. Anonymous says:

    Windows 7 seems to be working out ok. I like to use the Firefox platform.

  175. Anonymous says:

    In today's Internet age, no software designer would dream of putting a product on the market without Web interface capabilities

  176. Anonymous says:

    Is there any update on the legal procedure? I think it's ridiculous the EC would force Microsoft to not include IE in Windows 7.

  177. Anonymous says:

    Actually, the EU can still do pretty much whatever it wants to. It can decide that this isnt' sufficient, and order Microsoft to do something else.     So sorry, Microsoft shills, but you are still screwed.

  178. Anonymous says:

    I'd like to see a remake of Windows 98. Don't get me wrong, it was fulla bugs, but just when I thought I was fluent, out comes XP, Vista and now 7!

  179. Anonymous says:

    On the point about IE being pre-installed and it being seen as bad for competition, what about Safari, which comes pre-installed with every Mac? I hate to side with Microsoft but surely the same rules have to apply across the board.

  180. Anonymous says:

    Leave it to MS to continue to push their proprietary solutions out to the rest of the world.  I read last week that a hacker cracked IE 8 in a matter of hours.  So much for improved security.

  181. Anonymous says:

    This governs agreements between suppliers and agents across Europe  and gives a host …. Approx £1000 p.a.for legal/registration;

  182. Anonymous says:

    Dear Friends, Happy April Fool's Day!     A rabbi, a priest and a minister are discussing when life begins.   The priest says: "In our religion, life begins at conception."   The minister says: "We disagree. We believe that life begins when the foetus is viable away from the mother's womb."   The rabbi responds: "You both are wrong. In our religion, life begins when the kids graduate college and the dog dies."        Happy April Fool's Day!

  183. Anonymous says:

    Thankyou Very Good Windows7.  But IE8 Not Good?

  184. Anonymous says:

    I agree with this ruling, now if only we could force you to allow MSN messenger to go multi-platform properly.

  185. Anonymous says:

    That is quite a good idea. In fact, that is how IE 8 works!

  186. Anonymous says:

    I really think that any program added to Windows that does not relate directly to the running of hardware should be removed. No email programs, no graphic editing software, no media players, no extra applications at all.

  187. Anonymous says:

    As IE8 is, or will be, available on a disk why not ship the E version of W7 together with the IE8 disk? That way the EU Commission should be happy and Microsoft customers are not left in limbo with an only half operational operating system.

  188. Anonymous says:

    That’s what the next version of Windows would be called if the European Union had their choice.