Windows 7 and Browser Choice in Europe

Posted by Dave Heiner

Vice President and Deputy General Counsel 


A week ago the European Commission said it welcomed our proposal to provide Windows users a “consumer ballot screen” to select the Web browser of their choice to surf the Internet. We believe this approach addresses the Commission’s previously stated competition law concerns regarding our inclusion of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (IE) browser in Windows. 

I’d like to use this post to explain in more detail how the consumer ballot screen would work. But first I’d like to update you on our Windows 7 launch plans for Europe, which I blogged about on June 11.

As I explained at the time, we are committed to making Windows 7 available in Europe at the same time it is available to consumers worldwide on October 22.

To meet that goal, and in light of the Commission’s pending legal inquiry of our inclusion of IE in Windows, we decided last month that we would ship a unique version of Windows 7 in Europe—which we dubbed Windows 7 “E”—that would not include a Web browser. Instead, we decided to offer IE separately and on an easy-to-install basis to both computer manufacturers and users who wanted the Microsoft browser.

We have now decided to alter that launch plan. In the wake of last week’s developments, as well as continuing feedback on Windows 7 E that we have received from computer manufacturers and other business partners, I’m pleased to report that we will ship the same version of Windows 7 in Europe in October that we will ship in the rest of the world.  

If the Commission accepts our recent proposal, we would then fully implement all of its terms. As proposed, we would use the Internet to deliver a ballot screen update to customers who purchase Windows 7 in the European Economic Area, either as part of a PC or as a retail upgrade product. 
One reason we decided not to ship Windows 7 E is concerns raised by computer manufacturers and partners. Several worried about the complexity of changing the version of Windows that we ship in Europe if our ballot screen proposal is ultimately accepted by the Commission and we stop selling Windows 7 E. Computer manufacturers and our partners also warned that introducing Windows 7 E, only to later replace it with a version of Windows 7 that includes IE, could confuse consumers about what version of Windows to buy with their PCs. 

The Commission also previously expressed concerns about Windows 7 E. In a statement the day after I outlined our plans for Windows 7 E, the Commission clarified that it believes “consumers should be offered a choice of browser, not that Windows should be supplied without a browser at all.”

We’re now confident that shipping Windows 7 with IE in Europe—as we will in the rest of the world—is the right thing to do for our partners and for our customers. We also feel encouraged in making this decision by the positive reaction from so many quarters to our ballot screen proposal last week.

However, we recognize that there are still several steps ahead in the Commission’s review of our proposal and that we are not done. We will fully engage in that process with the hope that our proposal will be accepted. We’ve been open both with the Commission and with our customers and partners that if the ballot screen proposal is not accepted for some reason, then we will have to consider alternative paths, including the reintroduction of a Windows 7 E version in Europe.

While this requires significant change on our part, we believe this is the right approach for the company, and we are grateful to the Commission for the dedication and professionalism their officials brought to bear in discussing this with us.   
With that said, here is more information on how the consumer ballot screen would work. It comes into play for PCs that are shipped into Europe with IE set as the default browser. (Computer manufacturers are free to install any browser and set any browser to be the default when building Windows-based PCs.)

Shortly after new Windows PCs are set up by the user, Microsoft will update them over the Internet with a consumer ballot software program. If IE is the default browser, the user will be presented with a list of other leading browsers and invited to select one or more for installation. Technically, this consumer ballot screen will be presented as a Web page that can be updated over time as new browsers become available.

Here is how it would look:

Browser Ballot












The ballot screen would make it obvious to Windows users that they have a variety of choices when it comes to Web browsing software. Users could return to this page anytime to install the latest browsers or learn more about them.  (The browser links will connect users directly to the appropriate Web servers to download the various browsers.)
As part of the installation process for a new browser, users can choose whether to make the new browser their default browser.  Users also can take advantage of configuration options built into Windows to change their default browser selection and turn access to IE, or other browsers, on or off.

This consumer ballot screen may result in some users switching from IE to other browsers.  It is unlikely to lead to any users switching to IE, since the screen will not be presented to Windows users whose default is Firefox, Safari, Chrome, Opera or any other browser. 
The consumer ballot screen is designed for existing Windows PCs too, not just new ones.  If our proposal is accepted by the Commission, we will update Windows XP and Windows Vista machines throughout Europe with the consumer ballot screen.  Once installed, the consumer ballot screen will work as described above—users with IE set as their default will be presented with the browser choices, others won’t.

As you might imagine, it was not easy for Microsoft to accept the idea that we would essentially promote directly competing software from within our flagship product, Windows. Still, we believe that this approach is better for all concerned, including computer manufacturers and browser vendors—and most of all consumers—than an approach focused on removing Internet Explorer from Windows. This consumer ballot approach will make it easy for users to choose any browser. At the same time, it will preserve the benefits for consumers and software developers of an integrated solution for Web browsing. In this way the benefits of both integrated and standalone solutions are preserved. It will also streamline computer manufacturing and deployment by large enterprises because Windows will be the same in Europe as in the rest of the world.

The Commission indicated last Friday that it welcomed Microsoft’s formal proposal of the consumer ballot approach, as well as the obligations we are prepared to assume to promote interoperability.  We hope that the Commission will accept our proposals as the basis for a resolution of their competition law concerns.  We will remain in close contact with the Commission, and we will implement our proposals fully as soon as possible if and when they are officially approved.


Comments (157)

  1. Kecal says:

    Microsoft was a veteran software company, best known for its Microsoft Windows operating system and the Microsoft Office suite of productivity software.

    Now it started with dissemination of computer viruses, malicious, spy and pirate software.

    Recomendation: Try switch yourself to another company, which does not loose your trust.

  2. Anonymous says:

    What about persons who bought the Windows 7 E version, will they still get  the "full" retail version for the price of an upgrade version on October 22th as stated yesterday (31/07) at the customer care center of the Microsoft Store UK. If the version become the same in Europe I suppose both the upgrade and retail version (with a higher price) will be replaced with the current offer.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Pityable! I'm ferench and i think is ridiculous to include IE in Windows 7. I'm a firefox user and i wouldn't IE!

  4. Anonymous says:

    I hoped that I could get a Windows 7 EN without Internet Explorer and without Media Player.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Just face the truth Microsoft:  Firefox is still the better choice.  

  6. Anonymous says:

    a) Firefox 3 is bloatware, the internet is filled with constant memory leaks & insane resource consumption.    b) IE 8 is a much better option. Period.    c) I hate to say this but MSFTies you shouldn't have blinked first. No browser at all was a an awesome response & you'll should've stuck to it. The scores are now Opera 1 MSFT 0.

  7. Anonymous says:

    This sounds like a very good proposal.    Thanks for the update and details.

  8. Anonymous says:

    By using this 'ballot' on the web, is Microsoft able to track how many people choose each browser (and their IP info)?     I don't want IE on my computer and I don't want MS to know who I am or what browser I choose…

  9. Anonymous says:

    So, at the end of the day you are still going to install IE. What if I chose Firefox, will ie be uninstalled or will it just be unavailable?    At the end of the day this isn't good enough. You still appear to be leaving IE on the machine and will be in a position to acitivate it at a later day. It will still be there for your other crapware to use.    Hopefully the EU will reject your proposal. IE needs to be completely removed if the person decides not to use it. You hiding it is not good enough.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Well, i don't think it's a smart move from microsoft. They are providing a plattform for it's biggest competitor in the internet area: Google.    Everybody knows Google, but most usual customers don't know that there is something like Chrome. This ballot screen will raise the browser market share of Google. Doesn't look like a smart decision.    And i highly doubt that the commission will stop charge you. Maybe you should do better lobbying.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I am really pleased at this form of choice, I was concerned that total integration would have been affected. My view point is that I don't want anyone affecting my free choice including a commission that I didn't choose. Thank you microsoft for my ability to choose an integrated IE. For those who would like to exercise complete freedom there is always Mac or Linux. Or will it be that the commission will not allow car manufacturers to install integrated car manufacturers radios either.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I think that Microsoft should have the ballot system. But not have IE installed in any way on a computer until it is chosen. I also think the icons should be removed from the ballot and that the order of the browsers should either be random, or IE last.  Microsoft forced IE on us by intergrating it into the operating system. The major cause of most of the malware and viruses that infect computers today.  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.  I also think that Windows should not be allowed to come pre installed. That retail Windows disk ( not a restore disk) should be sold along with the hardware so that the real cost of Windows is known.

  13. Anonymous says:

    well… all this circus is only interesting for those using windows. i am a user of a competing os, and my browser of choice is firefox mostly because its awesome extensions… but i have nothing against using the browser shipped with my os, because *it does not break the internet*. or something. IE has been evil. EU is cool, by the the way. Ciao.

  14. Anonymous says:

    To all you people to say its ridiculous to include IE in windows, please also complain about Apple including Safari by default and NOT offering you a choice in what browser that you want to use.  Please MAKE Apple do the same thing! as they are NO BETTER! by NOT offering you any choice also.    Thanks

  15. Anonymous says:

    To Manan:    a) rubbish.  Give us cast iron, 100% undeniable proof.  You're barking up completely the wrong tree there brother.    b) rubbish, again.  Give us some reasons why (in your humble opinion) you think this is true (form your own point of view)?  Keep in mind your opinion's not gospel and may coloured and biased for some reason.    c) rubbish, again.  Tell us why you think having no browser at all was a great idea.  This benefited nobody other than MS, who were effectively cutting their nose off to spite their face, in an attempt to get the EU to blink…. it didn't work though did it?  And Opera?, they're still wining that even showing IE's "E" logo gives MS an unfair advantage!    In summary, MS have seen sense on this issue and done the right (and look to be heading towards doing the right thing overall).

  16. 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.

  17. Anonymous says:

    I am happy with IE. I dont need browser transplant treatment.

  18. Anonymous says:

    I think no browser was a great option.     I'd prefer to just have the OS please, as I'm perfectly capable of installing a browser.

  19. Anonymous says:

    So what about the preinstalled version of FireFox on most Linux systems?    What about the preinstalled software on macosx? let's remove their mediaplayer and browser…    why does microsoft have to promote other products on their operating system?    If you buy a Mercedes, you don't have to wank that there is a Mercedes engine inside. If you want a Mercedes you will have to deal with it.

  20. Anonymous says:

    At least now us people in Europe have one less thing to be pssd off about and we get treated fairly the same as the rest of the world.

  21. Anonymous says:

    In RE to all tha guys whining about Safari being preinstalled on Macs and Firefox being preinstalled on Linux:    Neither of them is a MONOPLOLY which has been REPEATEDLY found guilty of illegally abusing their monopoly powers to extend their monopoly into other markets.    It is like: Why are people not in jail, because for all we know, each of them could be a potential serial killer? Well, only people who have ACTUALLY killed several people are locked up for being serial killers, that's how it works.

  22. Anonymous says:

    In Linux, you can essentially TOTALLY uninstall Firefox after you install Linux. THAT'S where Microsoft differs, and the reason Firefox is installed in Linux has to do with the designers of that particular distro.  I'm sure if there was enough hollering, a distro could come in browserless, but then again, how could you install a specific browser unless you already had a browser to download the browser with?    Can a MAC user TOTALLY and cleanly uninstall Safari?  If the answer's "Yes".. then Microsoft, you'd better change your ways.    

  23. Anonymous says:

    I don't understand the problem of the EU. You can remove the IE and WMP after you install Windows. Just go on Start->type: "turn windows features on or off" and choose the first entry…

  24. Anonymous says:

    Turn Windows Features On or Off is NOT the same as an uninstallation… When you uninstall, you REMOVE files relative to the program you want to uninstall. When you "Turn Features on or off" the files are STILL there..     Maybe they're suppressed, but they are STILL THERE…    Big difference…

  25. Anonymous says:

    Whether IE8 is installed or not, whether the "E" version of Windows 7 in the EU is issued or not. All the EU customers want to know is; "will we still get our copies of Windows 7 for the pre-order offer price or not please?"  If the answer is yes then everybody is happy.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Nope, not good enough.    The selection of the browser to download should be done outside a browser, and without IE being installed at all – perhaps via download, perhaps via supply on the disk. Its unacceptable to install IE and then, grudgingly, to uninstall parts after the event.    In addition, everyone should be given the same opportunity. There is no valid reason for foisting IE on the rest of the world when the mechanism for choice is readily available. Why should a user in the US or Far East be a second class user? Allow them to easily avoid IE as well – then maybe MS will be forced to deliver an innovative workable product, rather than a me-to pile of ****.

  27. Anonymous says:

    This seems like a fair compromise.  Many other applications rely on components of Internet Explorer including third party software.  You can't completely remove IE without disabling applications like visual studio and quicken.  This is no different than Firefox lock in on Linux.  Many people have suggested you can remove Firefox.  This is not true.  If your linux distro includes Gnome, it is using gecko components for help, epiphany, etc.  Gnome has a dependancy on Gecko just as KDE depends on konquerer's rendering engine and Mac OS X uses parts of Webkit in OS X.  All modern GUI systems have browser components now.  This EU ruling might have mattered 12 years ago.  Today, it's just a hassle for Microsoft and consumers.     I'm not advocating any particular browser choice, just saying that an OS must come with some integrated browser to be useful.  Even cell phones have them now.  

  28. Anonymous says:

    If we're gonna justify no ballot screen in Linux, perhaps we should agree that Microsoft can take the approach Linux used to take: no installed browser, but you're free to download and install one via package manager or command line. Anyone who says you need a browser to install a browser is clearly demonstrating their lack of computer knowledge. You can do HTTP without a browser, and you can do downloads without HTTP.    Don't get me started on Apple. They make Microsoft's software look open source. iPhone won't let you install your own software without jailbreaking it, iPod is Wellesian in its DRM, and why can't I install OSX on any hardware? (without violating terms and Hackintoshing)

  29. Anonymous says:

    I feel sorry for the poor EU guys,  some fools from incompetent comission will decide for them what browser they should be using.  All this mess is only because one incompetent browser maker (Opera) is not happy with its browser share.  If anything, its a good news for Google's Chrome, but not for Opera. And probably Firefox will lose its share to Chrome as well.

  30. Anonymous says:

    This is a beginning.  But, only a beginning.  The day that Microsoft dumps Trident and ActiveX is the day that Windows becomes a much safer operating system.  Even better will be the day that by default, users have to perform the equivalent of sudo before they can perform any admin-privileged tasks.  The default setup on Win7 comes close, but it just doesn't cut it.    Windows COULD become a respectable operating system, with only a little effort.  COULD.  If Microsoft only wishes to become respectable.  It's a philosophy, a way of life.  Security comes first, second, third, and last.  Built in convenience for mindless users only creates vectors for attacks.

  31. Anonymous says:

    I think this is very good news. Microsoft has settled on a good solution, which lets people know what choices they actually have (not choosing for them).    Well done!

  32. Anonymous says:

    There is just one thing Dave, your 15 years late.     R.I.P Netscape.     GreekGeek.

  33. Anonymous says:

    Although I'm not a fan of IE, I don't think this will help the average consumer at all. I'm a techie and understand this stuff, but even to pretty adept computer users like my wife or brother, this screen will mean absolutely nothing.     From what I can see this screen give no explanation as too why you have to choose or why you should choose one other the other. From what I can see of the very poor quality image they all have a bit of text under them say they are the best web browser… that's helpful… NOT!!!    Presented with this screen I can most average users going for one of the two.    1) IE8 – Because that is what they know, understand and recognize from previous Windows use.    2) Google Chrome – Because they know Google from previous Internet use and many 'average' user believe that Google is the Internet, like many use to think that Compuserve or AOL was the Internet back in the early 90's.    I feel a bit sorry for Microsoft in a way as they are in pretty no win situation with the EU saying they are no allowed to bundle for the sack of competition but with no real way to give user a choice without it just being completely confusing.     Personally I think what the EU should have done is said it is ok to bundle IE with Windows 7 if it purchased as a standalone product off the shelf (as Apple does with OS-X and Safari), however if it bundled with a new PC it is down to the OEM to decide which browser to include and Microsoft should not be allow to punish or exert any pressure on the OEM for choosing to bundle a browser other than IE. Microsoft should also be made to make it as easy as possible for the OEM to bundle another browser and remove IE.    I really think giving this to the end user as a choice is completely pointless and will end up causing no end of confusion.    Also I must agree with "dave" in saying the use of the word "ballot" is just wrong and will cause even more confusion. If you really are going to go down this road it should just be a "choice".    Kind regards,    Andrew.

  34. Anonymous says:

    I am a linux user, and I personally can't stand Windows.    But you know what?  It's Microsoft's choice.  They should be allowed to package their software any way they want, and charge whatever they want for it.    If the government can tell Microsoft what they can and can't do, they can tell your kids how to run their lemonaide stand, or a car company how to make cars…and the government is totally incompetent at it all.    If I were running Microsoft, my response to the EU would be: "We are updating our license agreement on all our software.  It specifically states that you can not use Windows 7 or later operating systems if you are a member of the EU.  Oh–and we aren't releasing any more hotfixes, patches, or security updates to the EU either.  Have fun trying to migrate to Linux or Mac."    If they said that, the EU would change their tune.    Stupid governments.  Stupid Microsoft for giving in.  What are they going to tell you to do next?

  35. Anonymous says:

    Looks like you have IE7 installed just to present that dialog.  This is WAY out of line.    The browser should NOT be installed until someone clicks the browser icon they want.  The reason ppl dont like IE is because is the most insecure, unusable and unstable browser on the planet.

  36. Anonymous says:

    I see this is primarily a Microsoft blog with opinions in both sides. I had to "wane" from IE slowly only due to websites I use and their mindless dependency on them, not me. I may know how to use http but he general public I would say doesn't. It isn't even security that concerns me in terms of IE; to me IE is pretty much useless and I prefer FF, Chrome, and even Opera first rather than IE. I have expanded my world to accept other os's and browsers..     Let's see if the Microsoft lovers will allow THIS remark to go through; they didn't post my other one..

  37. Anonymous says:

    I use Firefox mainly but some sites require IE, therefore only then do I use it. Plus sites look very different when frames/iframes, tables and other elements are viewed in IE.    If only Firefox and IE had the same In/Output, im not sure why I wouldn't use IE again. I really would love IE for Linux though, firefox is great for Linux/UNIX but Konq Browser is like KDE's IE.     Also as a *NIX and Windows user, having IE would be very useful as a multi-platform Browser, just like when IE was for Mac OS for a little bit and a UNIX only IE existed. Make a Linux edition so I don't need to use Sun's Virtual Machine and run Windows on it!

  38. Anonymous says:

    Hi,    Just want to explain differences between Window, OS/X and Linux.    They are all OS, but :    For all non EU readers, there is law ie UE who said : You can't 'force' sell Software from a compagny with Hardware from another compagny. An MS is outlaw in UE because they 'force' hardwares compagny to install Windows.    1) Linux is not SOLD, an neither SOLD with Computers.  On Linux, you can install it the way you want, with or without GUI, with that or that desktop environment, which one relies more on that or than internet browser. The choise of the browser is not done by Linux compagnies, but by the person who installed it.    2) OS/X if a product of Apple, and is limited for running on Apple computers. They are not outlaws.    3) Windows is neither of thoses solutions …

  39. Anonymous says:

    I'm sorry but like most Microsoft "fixes" this is lame. Just as a bit of spackle over the hole in the wall does nothing when the hole in the wall was caused but a semi crashing through the wall a "Welcome to IE, Please choose to download a different browser or just keep using IE" dialog is ridiculous. The correct fix is to add a choose a browser screen to the new user setup process and have web browser components installed only when a user requests them perhaps even per user.    Now I know that this would break a lot of poorly and even well written software that links against the Trident library (IE's rendering engine). This is why "removing windows components" is not a solution; hiding from a user does not mean hiding from software such as say Office. Therefore, just because you have removed IE does nothing because Windows and other software still uses it behind your back.    This is really just another gapping hole in the API and poor design in Windows in general more than anything else. The Win32 API ought to expose a set of html rendering calls and implement them using html.dll and html.dll ought to symlink to either trident.dll (IE), gecko.dll (Firefox), opera.dll (Opera), khtml.dll (Safari and Chrome). A proposition which is far more feasible on Linux than Windows and slightly more feasible on Mac than Windows.

  40. Anonymous says:

    First: There's no point in complaining about IE being with windows. If any browser is included with a windows release, it will be IE. If several are included, then IE will be made the most prominent option. It's Microsoft's product, and that's only logical.  Asking for anything more than that just results in the entire anti-IE side seeming irrational and unreasonable, and that is hardly a way to gain any sway.    Second: All browsers have problems. Yes, IE is derided as the poster child of browser flaws, but even FireFox has some memory leaks and has bloated up over the years – I've seen Opera do some *strange* things on malformed pages as well. Although some are worse than others, no browser is sqeaky clean.    Third: The EU decision is a step in the right direction. Having open competition in the marketplace forces both developers and browsers to conform to some sort of standard, resulting in improved interoperability and generally improved code all around.  More importantly, avoiding a monoculture is a vital step towards improved security – Microsoft states that IE is the most exploited browser solely because it is the most popular, so if they honestly believe that then they should obviously see the merits of having a smaller market share and thus being a less attractive target.  Further, the spread of any virus or worm is greatly diminished in a diverse ecosystem, as any attack would waste time on nonviable targets.    My proposal is that Microsoft should decide not have Europe-specific versions, and instead make browser choice part of all versions.

  41. Anonymous says:

    Forget the ballot, just install micrografx picture publisher 10 on windows and watch how IE 8 no longer works.     No all this nonsense is simply an excuse to leave IE 's backend in the OS so that any application which is bothered to access the API can have IE run as a broweser.  The Ballot is a new buzzword, a shiny object to keep people from looking behind the curtain and see the lies behind the voice.    The EU said it wanted an OS without IE, when Microsoft left the whole freakin API behind waiting for any application (or worm/virus/malware) to simply pick it up they have basically thumbed their nose at the EU.    I don't know the wording of the EU's thingy, but it should have specifically said, "no IE API."      But like most political crap these days, nobody has either the common sense leadership skills to fix these problems,  and the common man lacks the money needed to sue and force this kind of fascism out.      With electronic voting machines installed in the USA the corruption is here to stay for good.  You want us to be America, land of the Free, home of the brave?  Help us outlaw electronic voting machines and get us back on paper ballots with an unbroken public chain of custody.  Nothing less will save us.    

  42. Anonymous says:

    Well, I want an OS with none of the IE stuff, I do not care what breaks, if a vendor decides to use HTML help and it is broke that is the software vendors problem.  A web browser is for connecting to a web server period.    MS has too much junk in the trunk.

  43. Anonymous says:

    Apple does have limitations. You cannot install OSX without tons of issues on a AMD Chipset successfully. Yes you can install Safari on Windows, but that's just as good as running Windows using Safe mode w/Command Prompt only and no Internet support, it's terrible to begin with and having to use it, you feel pretty dumb as to why you can't view websites correctly or at all.    Which is why tons of OSX users are running Firefox. Also, plenty of Linux Distro's do by default force you to use the pre-installed Browser, unless you install a different one. Distro's like Mandriva give you Firefox as a default but also Konq, which comes with KDE and always has. You can also look at Nintendo Wii, they use Opera but to me IE is better then bulky Opera (To me, a mix between Safari, Firefox, IE, and crap).

  44. Anonymous says:

    Thanks, now give us a choice on operating systems with all windows machines. Here's a nice list:    Windows  Ubuntu  Fedora  OpenSuSE  Debian  OpenSolaris  FreeBSD  ReactOS    That seems to be a good list of all the worthwhile operating systems out there…

  45. Anonymous says:

    This seems 100% reasonable to me (and I'm a Mac user).  After making a screen like this you can't claim that IE market share is just because of Windows market share.  I wouldn't mind if Apple gave an simple way to install other browsers.

  46. Anonymous says:

    Bring it to all regions, not just the EU! And as a web developer, I'd love to have this thing be able to download all of the web browsers and install them for me in the background and then I can select which of them I want as my default browser. :    Just a thought.

  47. Anonymous says:

    Why is Microsoft being so stupid? OS's come with a browser. Windows comes with IE. Stand your ground Microsoft, if they fine you refuse to pay. If they ban Windows, continue to sell it and let them police the Europeans who buy it. Being "contraband" might even improve your cool factor a little.

  48. Anonymous says:

    It begs the questions, why didnt Microsoft just use Webkit for IE8 in the first place…

  49. Anonymous says:

    I'm ashamed of the EU again and again. And again. They are power-lords who try to sap the US economy by fining its companies. It would be nice if the US would step in and pressure them to stop.    To anyone who says "I want Windows without IE at all," you are just showing your ignorance. "IE," as you state it, is the entire networking substructure and rendering engine. Remove it, and even Firefox won't work. To those who say "Trident needs to be gotten rid of," you are just showing your ignorance. Trident has been overhauled and updated many times. Gecko, the "amazing" engine that Firefox uses, was started in 1997. Guess when Trident was released? 1997. Study up or say nothing, please.

  50. Anonymous says:

    Internet Explorer is an program for downloading Firefox!  

  51. Anonymous says:

    That Browser 6 sounds damn sexy, what's the URL so i can install that one and try it out?

  52. Anonymous says:

    What is that European Economic Area they're writing about? It's called the European Union! I'd recommend MS Vice Presidents to study a little geography and history and also watch some international news in TV. Or the United States of America are also called the American Economic Area?

  53. Anonymous says:

    EU Citizen, I believe that it is more offensive to you being from Europe not to know what European Economic Area is. It is in fact larger than the EU. At least you could have used your favourite search engine –…/European_economic_area    MS Vice Presidents are just fine with geography and history but you are not.

  54. Anonymous says:

    Newsflash, windows with default programs installed is already a most secure OS around.  IE 8 is already a most secure and standarts compatible browser around .  I use IE8, Firefox and Maxthon on my machine .   'm professional web developer, so i do know what i talking about, unlke many of clueless "strip off any program from the OS" crowd, who obviously have their agenda.

  55. Anonymous says:

    Well done EU. M$ WILL be obliged to a better programming : how can anybody run windows update from anything else than IE ? Answer : use standard W3C. Some times ago, I surfed the web looking for tyres for my motorbike. I went on Pneubis, and their site was poorly rendered under firefox (no IE, it's crap open door to malware on a poorly designed OS and I run on Linux however). I took a screenshot, and sent it to the CEO, with a mail containing a link to Xiti and sayin' "AS a CEO, how come you cut yourself from about one third of your potential customers because of a poorly designed site and an incompetent webmaster ?" Believe me or not (but you can have a look by yourself),  one month after, the site was updated and now perfectly renders under firefox. Everybody should do that : bad rendering, a screenshot, a link to xiti or whatever with the browsers market share, and a mail to the CEO asking why they cut away one third of their potential market share ? CEO are not computer geeks, but they KNOW what a third means, specially about their income !  PS : I'm french, so don't shout about english mistakes unless you're as good in French as me !

  56. Anonymous says:

    I'd like to know how much money the EU have wasted on these silly legal issues.

  57. Anonymous says:

    CaptainDangeax, so you are suggesting that Microsoft should not cut their potential customers who want to update their Linux machines through Windows Update but cannot do so because they do not have IE?

  58. Anonymous says:

    How do I install several browsers from this ballot screen?

  59. Anonymous says:

    ->Stilgar . I hoped the chief of Arakis rebels would be smarter. I suggest that windows update also works with firefox / Opera / Chrome / Safari / Et caetera and not only IE. WTF are you talking about ? Updating Linux via windows update ? To cite Bill Gat

  60. Anonymous says:

    CaptainDangeax why should Windows Update work on anything but IE? Windows ships with IE so Windows users will not have any problem with the updates. The only people who cannot use IE are not Windows users anyway. Just look at IE as the update mechanism for Windows.

  61. Anonymous says:

    Finally no more vendor lock-in strategy…doesn't it brun MS?  Cheers,

  62. Anonymous says:

    Why can there not be a Windows 7 EN Version WITH the ballot-screen, so you can choose another browser (like Firefox) and don't have IE? Just combine both suggestions and everyone is happy!

  63. Anonymous says:

    What a waste of time and money.    Any person can easily install a browser if they want to. Why should MS spend time on this?    IF you have an interest in browsers, Im sure you can download and install a new – even without MS doing anything!    Do you see Google supply links to IE anywhere?  May the best browser win, and Chrome is doing a good job – so why not just let the browsers battle and time will show…

  64. Anonymous says:

    I worked at Gateway back in the late 90s, when was launching. had a ballot screen for IE and Netscape Navigator.  And because Gateway wanted to offer their consumers an ISP choice and browser choice, you (Microsoft) punished Gateway.    So, enjoy being forced to offer consumers browser choice.  It's about a decade late, but at least something happened.    Microsoft helped to kill computer innovation in the 90s with monopoly power abuse.  So throw a tantrum all you want, you brought this upon yourselves.

  65. Anonymous says:

    I'm from switzerland and in school everyone uses firefox and i think its the better browser, ie is just not so user-friendly and its not open-sourse so firefox wins

  66. Anonymous says:

    Tom, so all this is not about protecting the consumer but punishing Microsoft for something they did (and payed for) 10+ years ago? Yeah good job EU. I am glad you are spending my taxes the right way…    datampq, I (and most people in the world) couldn't care less if some browser is open source.

  67. Anonymous says:

    As has been mentioned before:    "No-one is voting on anything, they are simple choosing a browser."    Just name it "What browser(s) do you wish to install?".  PS as i discovered last week .. don't use IE6 it breaks the internet!!

  68. Anonymous says:

    Hopefully the EU will reject your proposal. IE needs to be completely removed if the person decides not to use it. You hiding it is not good enough.    Then most of your windows programs won't work.

  69. Anonymous says:

    Ask yourself: Will the forthwoming Google OS include IE? If you want another browser, just download it from the web or install linux.

  70. Anonymous says:

    Browsers in Alphabetic Order please, don't display them in an ie-branded window, and make it clear that people can install more than one.

  71. Anonymous says:

    Ha, I think MS should tell the EU to take a hike. If they don't like IE on Windows then you can use something else. There are choices.     For those of you that hate IE, that's your perogative but Firefox has it's own issues as do most browsers. There's no perfect browser and so what if IE is installed on the machine? You don't have to click the icon.

  72. Anonymous says:

    You buy Microsoft OS, wouldn't you expect Microsoft browser?   You want a different browser?  Install it yourself!  You don't like Microsoft?  Don't buy their OS.  Sheesh! I liked the zero browser in-your-face response!

  73. Anonymous says:

    Oh…I use Firefox only AND I believe Microsoft should STILL include only IE.

  74. Anonymous says:

    What I think is funny is that a major OS release is being dictated by a browser that has less than a 1% market share(.3% i Believe).  Just another example of a failing business trying to succeed in the courts.  If you can't compete with your product than you need to get out of the arena.      The ballot was Operas Idea, and now that Microsoft has made this major concession, they are still not happy.  Seriously, making them remove icons because it gives IE an unfair advantage.  Maybe Pepsi should remove their logo from all cans and bottles so Coke can have a chance.

  75. Anonymous says:

    "I liked the zero browser in-your-face response"  Strangely enough, so did all those people who bought Win 7 E on its pre-order release. You know, the 6-week offer that completely sold out in two days? Bring it on. If you can't install a browser on your own, you probably shouldn't have a computer anyway. Those who say MS should withdraw from the European market are idiots. If MS do that, they will a) lose a lot of money, b) be unable to regain market share once everybody who prefers to make money starts making their software Linux compliant. Go for it MS, we'll be more than happy to call your bluff.

  76. Anonymous says:

    i just don't get it… it's like telling ford, we don't want you to sell cars with tires, cause people need to be able to choose which tires they want.

  77. Anonymous says:

    This is all stupid.  What other company is forced to cripple their product or promote competitors products?  Should they remove all the other apps built into windows or offer people an alternative choice for every single app that competes with Microsoft?  I don't even use IE and a certainly would NOT want it removed from the OS, nor would I want to use this "ballot screen" to install my browser of choice.    Microsoft should create a version of Windows that is essentially nothing more than the kernel itself, and then call it "Windows 7 FU".  Or better yet, if I were Microsoft, I would just pull out of Europe completely.  Let those whiny bitches use something else if all they are going to do is complain.

  78. Anonymous says:

    As you might imagine, it was not easy for Microsoft to accept the idea that we would essentially promote directly competing software from within our flagship product, Windows.  Rrriiiiight.. And that hurts you how exactly? Oh, yeah, I forgot – you might lose bing in EU, but phrack that noise, you have a whole lot of options how to avoid that and still comply. My concern is how you engage in wars of standards just to slow down a whole phracking industry. Pure evil. Got nightmares?

  79. Anonymous says:

    What if someone wants to choose IE, Firefox and Opera all as part of the install. Will this ballot allow more than one browser to be chosen with only being set as the default?

  80. Anonymous says:

    Ok… So the EU wants 'fair' competition in the marketplace right?  The main thing is this, unless you purchase an Apple machine (Apple logo'd), then you are buying a piece of 'hardware'.  Apple can put whatever (whatever) they choose on their 'machine' because it is an Apple Machine, hence they have no compulsion or requirements to place ANY competition on their machine because it is an Apple Machine (forget for a moment that the hardware is exactly the same as all PC's, inferior actually).  Now then, what do you have left, just a bunch of hardware that once assembled, is a computer, with nothing to make it run.  So, Microsoft has an Operating System, Windows, that will 'run' the hardware that has been compiled, yet, because it isn't a Microsoft 'machine', there MUST be forced compulsion and inclusion of competitive software.  So, if Microsoft made deals with say, Foxconn and/or other 'hardware' makers, created a Microsoft (logo'd) Machine, then they would be able to sell this 'Computer' anywhere in the world, EU included, with Windows, IE8, Media Player, etc, and not be forced to submit to competition with other software makers.  MS should just create it's own computer, like Apple, and sell them ALL in the EU.  🙂

  81. Anonymous says:

    Also, Windows, will ONLY be sold off the shelf, or, pre-installed on the WINPC, and be coded to ONLY be able to run on the WINPC's hardware (there will be both software and hardware checks).  Sell each copy for $29.99 US, free updates/patches, periodic major Updates for more $$.  Change the EU EULA to reflect that this software can ONLY be used in the EU, can ONLY be used on a WINPC.  Also, MS should encourage the 'smartniks' in the European Economic Area to decompile, reverse engineer, the hardware/software coding which in fact will EASILY enable the Apple OS to then be able to run on the WINPC if they so choose!

  82. Anonymous says:

    And finally, whatever the current EU price of an Apple Machine is, undercut it by $29.99.

  83. Anonymous says:

    A good choice!! I strongly believe that the multiple choice of browsers to select from are great. Though I would have bought Windows 7 with IE8, regardless.

  84. Anonymous says:

    Always amazes me how many people jump up and down saying I dont want IE on my machine I want FireFox. Well simply install the browser! Simple as that. Do you get FireFox on an apple machine when you buy it…no…    Its simple, there should only be one version of Windows 7 shipped, if there are multiple versions there are just too many confusions and issues that can arrise. The EU hasnt investigated Apple for shipping Safari so why is it singling Microsoft here…    I think the "ballot" system is more than fine…    

  85. Anonymous says:

    I want a OS COMPLETELY WITHOUT this most insecure horrible, non standard complaint rubbish

  86. Anonymous says:

    paul then go buy another OS because    1. Most Windows customers actually WANT to use IE (like I do).  2. ALL Windows customers want all programs that depend on IE to work.

  87. Anonymous says:

    To those who think W7 should come without any browsers installed –    How do you propose to install the latest version of one of these web browsers without using a web browser to download it? Or do you think MS should bundle FF, Opera, etc with Windows?

  88. Anonymous says:

    I'd be more than happy to have an OS that doesn't come with IE.     As for the "how do you propose to download it" question, I can only assume that you're not intelligent enough to be in this debate if you don't know how to overcome this "problem".

  89. Anonymous says:

    No matter what you think of Microsoft, no government entity should EVER have the authority to tell one company to promote and offer products from competing companies.    Thats BS.   I think the Middle East has a monopoly on crude oil.   I think they should be required by the EU to promote and offer crude oil drilled in North America.

  90. Anonymous says:

    Morbo said it best….Just as Ford does not sell cars w/o tires because of consumer choice, MS should also not have to offer an OS pointing to other browsers. This seems to swing "anti-competitive" to the far other side of the spectrum. It seems almost punitive for MS to offer other companies browers. Seems that MS lost all rights to control their OS.  Let's see, is Adobe required to offer Silverlight with it's products simply because it has the largest market share….or should Apple be forced to offer other carriers or even other software for the iPhone simply because it is in an all-too-dominant Mobile phone position? Let's be sure we're talking about singling Microsoft out simply because they are the dominant player. Oh, BTW, I'm not a Microsoft employee for those who want to lambaste this.

  91. Anonymous says:

    Wow, that's more than a little arrogant, Pete.      I would think the people who had to ask the question, "how can I download another browser?"  would be the ideal people to be in this argument since they would be the people most affected by the other people as narrow-minded as you.

  92. Anonymous says:

    i hope that windows seven will be without IE preinstalled (for europe). It must only be proposed to install with the others browsers in the ballot screen. because if it is installed before and windows give possibility to uninstall after the choice of another browser, it will let files on the computer and keys in the registrer…. not good at all

  93. Anonymous says:

    I don't believe that this approach will present the user a real choice. If the ballot is presented some time after the user has started working, he/she will already have IE experience and skills, and wouldn't like to change it. People who would prefer another browser would have already installed it at this time anyway. I will be astounished if the ballot screen changes the browser preference of as many as 0.5% of the users – that is what should be expected this way.    I would believe that this is the main reason it is being offered instead of the Windows 7 E plan, which would mean the same except that the ballot screen will be presented to the user at the first day.

  94. Anonymous says:

    To all those who think Microsoft can just update their Licence agreement saying that you cannot use Windows if you are an EU member, well that's not at all clever thinking! As EU is one of the biggest markets where Microsoft sell their software and if their apporach is customary oriented they shall take in to consideration what EU consumers would like to get for the money they paid for.

  95. Anonymous says:

    Hold on a sec. You have to install IE first THEN choose an alternative browser?

  96. Anonymous says:

    Again I think the real question now will how will this affect the people who have preordered. I was happy with the removal as this meant that I could get the standalone version of windows at a discounted price. Now where does this leave us? Microsoft answer this question please.

  97. Anonymous says:

    This is much better, because how can there be windows without IE.   Would that 'e' version also remove IWebBrowser and Co.? Lots of software depends on it!  Why is a private company charged and forced to advertise 'competitors' that anyone knows anyways? When they apply all that ideology in a fair way there are a lot of companies that have worse practices.   I am a European and not amused by that unsettled understanding of justice.  Windows 7 with IE is not an illegal product in any way. When people hate it, why do they plan to buy it? It is also not having any exploitations inside that prevents other stuff to run. It is totally adaptive. Who cares when there is things in the system you do not like? Don't use them!

  98. Anonymous says:

    It seems almost punitive for MS to offer other companies browers. Seems that MS lost all rights to control their OS.  Let's see, is Adobe required to offer Silverlight with it's products simply because it has the largest market share….

  99. Anonymous says:

    I like Firefox. It's safe. So I don't use IE generally. Sorry, MS, but Firefox is just better 😉

  100. Anonymous says:

     Good decision.  It's silly to ship an OS without a browser, and it's silly not to use your own browser if you make one.    Offering a 'ballot' that makes it simple to use another browser is the most that anyone worried about anti-competitive practices can ask for.    I like Apple software but I'm pretty sure they would NEVER offer a chance for the average none-technical user to install a competing browser.    So we should cut MSFT some slack on this.

  101. Anonymous says:

    its stupid idea to release a version of windows without any browser… how is the average computer user supposed to GET a browser without an existing one?  ms made the right decision here

  102. Anonymous says:

    I don't know why people are calling the EU stupid.    They've managed to get me a full version of the OS for the price of an update. That doesn't look stupid from where I'm sitting.    So you have to plug a USB stick/CD in and load a browser. Big deal.

  103. Anonymous says:

    Most of the negative comments about IE are ridicilous. While one may hate MS for emotional reasons, one should be reasonable when it comes to comparing browsers. As much a as I love to use FireFox, it is a very poorly designed application when it comes to memory allocation, it takes way too much memory as you open new tabs and does not fully give it back to OS when tabs are closed. Check your task manager details. I think IE has recently made great improvements and it is a worthy browser now. I know being a EU citizen generally requires you to be annoying and unreasonable but for once try to judge things fairly.

  104. Anonymous says:

    To all those moaning about IE.. It's a good browser, and it generally works really well.  I have Firefox as well, and normally use that.. but I will always want IE on my PC as sometimes it's just the best way. Exchange Webmail for example, works much better with IE. I know you can get IE plugins for Firefox, but why bother? And before everyone starts on about not being forced to use Windows and Exchange webmail.. people use it because it's better than any other product. There have always been alternatives to Microsoft products. Remeber Lotus Notes? Novell Netware? OS/2? Lotus 123? they're not really used now, as Microsoft released better products. period. Stop thinking as techie anarchists, and think about normal consumers who just want a computer that they can plug in and use, not something they have to construct themselves and hunt around for seperate software that isn't a symbol of 'capitalism'

  105. Anonymous says:

    There is no way to remove IE from windows.  It's built right in there.     And who in their right mind would pay money for a web browser, they are FREE.  Pick whichever one you want, I don't care, I have all of them installed anyway to check my HTML.     Don't see how MS makes any money by having IE as the default, so how is it anti competitive.  If people are making money with their browsers it is by tracking what sites you use and selling your data.      Google toolbar anyone?  No thanks.

  106. Anonymous says:

    Funny how Apple are allowed to install Safari on their OS, and no doubt Google's OS will include Chrome!!!    If you dont want to use IE don't.    If this is rejected and I was Microsoft id be shipping it out with no browser on… Cause as much hassle as I could with home users trying to get on the net without a browser… Stupid EU!!!!

  107. Anonymous says:

    Use IE, also use firefox, tried chrome, tried most of them.    Slightly confused as to why its important which method I use to browse the internet. Is it my choice or the EUs choice??

  108. Anonymous says:

    I use Enigma browser, a very secure browser that uses the engine of IE.  And I will be sticking with it.

  109. Anonymous says:

    Who gives a damn what browser they use , your like a load of old women moaning about nothing, just be happy that Microsoft is giving you a choice

  110. Anonymous says:

    Does this now mean that there can be an upgrade path from XP/Vista or is that sill banned?    

  111. Anonymous says:

    If you don't want IE at all then don't run Windows. Don't moan about Microsoft and then use their OS, go get a Mac – oh and what browser choice do you get there? What does it ship with…?    IE8 may not be the most perfect browser, but none of them are, they all have different glitches and high points.    I use both IE8 and Firefox3 for different reasons and they both have a place on my PC, although IE8 is still my default.    I think every OS should have this feature for every browser to embrace competition – isn't that fair all round Mr EU?  

  112. Anonymous says:

    Why all this hassle – anyone who wanted to use another browser has always been able to download and install it and ignore IE. The EU just has an agenda against MS. If the product is so bad why doesn't someone come up with a better one that everyone will want to use……because they can't! Well done MS

  113. Anonymous says:

    If this means I don't have to do a clean install from Vista, then I'm over the moon.    The browser that comes with Windows is irrelevant, because unless you really are that lazy or dumb, you can go online with IE and download whatever you want.    Much better than installing Windows and finding you have no browser to download anything with

  114. Anonymous says:

    For all the clever boys out there saying that the OS should ship without any browser because they know how to install or download thier specific browser, it seems you are trying to do this at the expense of all the Mums and Dads that are not computer savy, of which there are still many.    A selection of browsers gets around the no browser problem and gives joe public both choice and simplicity.    Being able to dissable components should satisfy most who are not happy with various bits of Windows 7 but for those who are so anti MS and desperate to remove any single element of the browser (or Media Player etc) I would say you are welcome to go through the directories and delete them yourselves.        

  115. Anonymous says:

    sod the rest of them i use ie i have no complaints it does what it says on the tin, bugs and security issues they all have them hackers an con artists will exploit anything thay can no mater who makes it at the end of the day. it is personal choice at the end of the day like i like win media player for music but i use other products for movies and videos it just down to your personal choice of what u like and want and use

  116. Anonymous says:

    I'm from the Middle East, which means I'm not affected by all this, like most people round the world. I use all known browsers, Internet Explorer, Safari, Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome, and used to use Opera, and I'm awaiting their completely new release version. Internet Explorer is my default browser. I think Microsoft should not give in to the European Union!

  117. Anonymous says:

    What is wrong woth you people, the average user doesn't give a stuff they just want to load the new operating system & go – they are not intersted in what browser is or is not included as long as they have access to the internet.

  118. Anonymous says:

    Well said Kom, its a browser, most users don't give a rats. In fact most people with lives don't give a rats !

  119. Anonymous says:

    Well, having read the comments above, I guess this isn't a bad thing.    However I agree NJS, most people shouldn't care what tyoe of browser they use, as long as they can do what they need to with the browser of choice.  With that said I work in a large corporate IT environment and all these other browsers do is give nothing but trouble (Firefox being the main one), IE is still the most stable and secure browser out there.

  120. Anonymous says:

    I love IE8 i just don't know what people see  in Fire fox , I've done tests and IE8 opens web pages a lot quicker than F/ Fox

  121. Anonymous says:

    Kom: I agree!     I am an OpenSuse/Windows user and user a variety of browsers on my machine. However, when I buy a new computer, I just want to be able to get on.     The average person who is going to buy a computer with Windows 7 on in the future is going to be more interested in getting their machine home and having a play than having to set up their browser. Asking them to download one via the command prompt is prompting a huge increase in support demands for no real benefit.     I do think that a number of years ago IE was certainly not the best browser out there. I think MS have moved forward a long way though, and with the Trustworthy Computing initiative, have managed to pull out some really much improved software. Also, they have tended to make their software easy enough for joe bloggs to install and use without having to read an instruction manual from cover to cover for a long time.     IE 8 is also now on par with the standards of Firefox, and in some ways is a better browser to user, IMHO.    I think the EU have made it unfair on MS for no real reason. Then again, I think the EU needs to get a reality check anyway, but that is besides the point!    MS: I think you have come up with a satisfactory solution. You are promoting choice (it's not a ballot!) whilst staill maintaining useability by including a browser. Well done.    

  122. Anonymous says:

    Don't understand, how MS would aggree to compromise. Would you expect Tesco to start promoting ASDA products..huh.  MW Windows with  MS IE…. accept it people.  swimming against current is challenging sounds good but you can't win…   if you don't like IE. that's your decision after you have bought a license of windows but don't understand how people are claiming to own something which they haven't bought yet.    Cheers  

  123. Anonymous says:

    Coming from England, the land of freedom, I am fed up of these EU officials imposing restraints on trade and what they call "fair competition" rules. All it leads to is additional costs for all concerned, and fat wallets for the politicians involved. Microsoft should have stuck to their guns and just asked whether to install IE or not. Despite a certain quirkiness, its a lot better than all the other browsers from my substantial experience. Let the frogs have what they want, but leave the English alone!

  124. Anonymous says:

    As a UK developer selling world wide i am desperate to get my hands on Windows 7E BEFORE our next roll out so we can do full testing.    The option of Just switching off IE dose not cut it in product roo out testing. I have a 3 man team currenty testing the RTM version YET I can not get hold of 7E so im faced with delaying our release until MS anounces formally if the product is ditched, this artical just says they would like to ditch it.    SO Microsoft are u releasing 7E RTM as promised or not?

  125. Anonymous says:

    I think just about every individual posting here has missed the point about the EU's stance.    Internet Explorer is not a product that is sold to it's users, it is a freebie that Microsoft gives away. It's inclusion in the OS was initially intended to steal the browser market from Netscape, who had established dominance over many years of hard work, and stifle any future competition from new browser technologies, effectively making IE the only access point to the Web.    Currently, with Windows almost monopoly position in the OS arena, no alternative browser is in any position to compete on a level playing field. The average man in the street doesn't care what he is using to view Web sities, just so long as it works. The fact that jobs are being lost and innovation is being delayed has no direct bearing on their lives.    Until recently no browser manufacturer has made any attempt to compete with Microsoft on its home turf and as a consequence has not had the means, as Microsoft do, to force feed consumers with their products. They have had to use their limited resources to promote their wares against the might of one of the largest brand names in the World. Incidentally, no one has pointed out that all these browsers are offered free of charge to the user. This is hardly the best environment for trying to grow a business in.     Microsoft have tried to bully the EU into allowing it to maintain its market share without having to do any work to earn it. The EU aren't that easily intimidated.     As for the ballot page. This is Microsoft running scared in the face of adverse feedback from OEMs and Tech companies. MS have embedded IE so deeply into their OS it's now virtually impossible to separate them without crippling the OS.    I use Windows daily, but not IE as my browser. I made an informed choice as a highly skilled technician, the same choice needs to be afforded to every other user too.    The EU is trying to give user a choice, either by making them think about what software they load on their computers or by making the OS offer them a choice. What's wrong with that?    The US is one of the most piratical and avericious cultures on the planet. It takes without considering what the impact of it's greed will be elsewhere around the globe. Microsoft is just a very visible manifestation of this me, me, me policy and the EU have chosen it as a suitable target for their "SO FAR, NO FURTHER!" stance.    Good for them.

  126. Anonymous says:

    @MCJ: Proof LOL! Try opening 2 tabs & go into task manager. Crazy amounts of RAM the boatware consumes something many Firefox zealots have tried to figure out for me but haven't been able to solve it, all the config tricks, disabling the plugins yada yada

  127. Anonymous says:

    Why shouldn't Microsoft include their own browser with their own operating system?    Where would we all be without Windows?    It's not perfect but (apart from the minority Macs) what other choices are there?    Everybody just grow up and don't use IE if you don't want to…..just like I don't use FireFox, Opera, et al.    (I do use IE, Chrome and Avant)

  128. Anonymous says:

    I agree entirely with Mutlie, this is the EU poking their noses in to the benefit of nobody. It's quite simple to swap IE out of Windows and replace with whatever alternative browser you like (or you can write your own). Alternatively you could replace Windows entirely by Linux or open Solaris, or buy a Mac, which of course does not force you to do anything, apart from pay through the nose!

  129. Anonymous says:

    Addendum:  To the guy who complained about the time this page took to load, it works fine from here in the UK and my last comment took less than a second to publish!    

  130. Anonymous says:

    Why not get it right the first time then you have the  option to change to what ever browser that suits you  then their is no confution

  131. Anonymous says:

    Windows also ships with a calculator program. There are many other calculator programs out there that are arguably better. But nobody cares about calc, even though most people use it.  If Microsoft want to ship IE with windows then I think they are perfectly at liberty to do so. Users who don't want to use it can easily use Firefox, Safari, Chrome etc instead. It's not like Microsoft prevent these browsers being installed. And as people are saying, if you don't like it then choose another operating system.

  132. Anonymous says:

    Windows also ships with a calculator program. There are many other calculator programs out there that are arguably better. But nobody cares about calc, even though most people use it.  If Microsoft want to ship IE with windows then I think they are perfectly at liberty to do so. Users who don't want to use it can easily use Firefox, Safari, Chrome etc instead. It's not like Microsoft prevent these browsers being installed. And as people are saying, if you don't like it then choose another operating system.

  133. Anonymous says:

    I consider that the entire issue raised by the EU regarding Internet Explorer in Windows to be a disgusting case of unelected officials, who should incidentally get real jobs, interfering with consumer choice.    Do they expect Ford to modify their cars so that any radiator or carburettor will fit? Of course not. Do they expect Ford to offer car buyers a choice of any manufacturer's alloy wheels? Of course not.    Microsoft are entitled to add ANY software of their choice, be it a browser, a word processor or whatever.     Soon they'll be insisting on no email client, no media player and little else supplied by default with the installation CD. Then will THAT be in the interest of consumers.    I may add that I dislike many of Microsoft's practices, most of all the way they insist on charging for support when there are issues with their software (e.g. Office 2k7 SP2 disabling Publisher's loading of existing publications) but I support them on this one.    Kenneth Spencer  

  134. Anonymous says:

    To all those who say "No browser should be included"….. How would people then be able to download there chosen/prefered browser Doh!

  135. Anonymous says:

    I'm a french customer who just pre-ordered Windows 7 family premium E and it would be crazy for microsoft (and the european commission) to sell it to me without any browser, how are we supposed to connect to internet ????? It could cause a lot of trouble and dissatisfaction among european customers because we only find browser to download on internet.    The solution to offer the choice between different browsers is much better.

  136. Anonymous says:

    Where I do not get you people is:    If Google would provide an Operating System. Would you also try to prevent them from pre-installing Chrome? Probably not. So why should MS bother?      Neither does anyone care about what Google is collecting and storing about the users consuming Google services.     btw. You will not be able to get rid of IE on the OS, because it is just to tightly integrated into the OS. You will only be able to hide the Browser UI.      

  137. Anonymous says:

    Everybody cares about one of … programs in this OS. What next? The calculater or the screenshot tool or maybe mspaint?    

  138. Anonymous says:

    And for they who want a European Version of Windows 7 – may also use an European Browser like Opera.

  139. Anonymous says:

    Everyone having to support relatives or friends with their Computer will be sreaming their head off, when everybody starts calling and asking you to come over and install a WebBrowser so they can get onto the Web.     I had sleepless nights thinking about everyone calling me up and asking me:  "Hey I just bought Windows 7 and can't even get onto the Internet. What kind of crap OS is this?"     So in the name of all of us supporting our relatives and friends. "THANK YOU MICROSOFT FOR INCLUDING IE8 !!!"

  140. Anonymous says:

    And for all the other that want to install another browser, you have the option to do so.   So what is all the fuss about?  

  141. Anonymous says:

    Keep IT simple!  That’s what’s they have done, give the clients an opportunity to chose what browser they want!  I know lots of people dislike IE, but what about the “basic” user, who just wants a PC to work, when they get it home. They would have a lot of trouble, getting online with the 7E version… So thumps up from here!    Per Ahm

  142. Anonymous says:

    wow, another chance for people to voice their opinion. And boy, have you. Most people who will use Windows 7 will not be technically inclined. They will have no concept of the differances between Firefox, Opera, IE or any other browser. All that they will want is the ability for their nice new shiny PC to do whatever it is they want it to do. By not including a browser the only people to benefit will be the shareholders of IT support companies, because the phone lines will be red hot with calls about how the new pc won't connect to the internet. It would be preferable to be able to completely remove IE from windows if desired, but as long as it can be disabled, then I believe a suitable compromise has been reached. I do feel a touch sorry for MS. No matter what they do they are berated by people who seem to confuse personal preference with fact. Mind you with the profits that they make, I dont feel too sorry for MS. To me, a PC is an invaluable tool, with lots of scope for personalisation. I am "Tech Savvy" enough to customise it to my preferences, but I think it is not about my choice, but what is best for the multitude, that matters. And to that end I applaud MS. I find it difficult to name another major organisation that would openly advertise competitors products. Incidently I use Firefox and IE, depending on my mood. Choice is always good, don't you think?

  143. Anonymous says:

    this is nice 🙂 microsoft actually is thinking about not puting a browser on Windows 7 in Europe at all. I wonder how will some users be able to get Opera or Firefox without having access to the internet (i mean having no initial browser). 😛 haha, epic fail. Microsoft will think of something to get IE (maybe an optional update or as they said: they'll sell CD's with IE8 in stores for a few bucks). but as far as opera, firefox, etc…. are concerned, they just dug up a deeper hole for themselves as it will be easier and faster for users to get IE. And if a regular user will pay few buck for a browser and he doesn't need another one for minimal web browsing, don't think he'll buy opera or firefox later 🙂  Well anyways, this is kinda lame. Windows 7 is made by microsoft… duh…. so why can't u have a MICROSOFT BROWSER that was made for the operating system by the same manufacturer??? (well it's all about the competition for the no1 place, i understand). The way i see it now, microsoft will have more benefits now that they would get with IE included.  As far as i know, the browser choice screen in not happening. Good luck with getting ur browser as default now, Microsoft rivals. 🙂  As far as i'm concerned, most of the time i'm using IE (i'm not just a basic user btw) and i'm not a IE fanboy or anything, but i'm fully satisfied with it. As far as Opera, firefox and others are concerned, i've tried some of em (enjoyed firefox, google chrome and Avant Browser), but in the end i still went back to IE as it is easy to use and has some new features that i personally really enjoy.

  144. Anonymous says:

    i'm in no way a ms fan, but this is rubbish. (i'm typing this on my work macbook, i run ubuntu on my home laptop, and i run xp pro on my media box)    apple ships with safari and itunes. i'm sure that when google's OS launches, it will default with chrome. why should ms essentially advertise for their competitors? everyone is free to install whatever browser they choose, and even set it as their default.    i agree that ms goes too far in its proprietary monopoly, but this doesn't make any sense.

  145. Anonymous says:

    @ Ryan  There is a lot of reasons this makes sense. Microsoft have a history of rather than adhering to standards to do things the Microsoft way. IE has only been the dominant browser since 1999, funnily enough not too long after the hard wired it into Wi

  146. Anonymous says:

    None of the browsers would have shuch a big possible market without Windows being available. So why are they bitching. It may be that Microsoft used their market power to advance their business, so what so would I in their position. But they have provided a global platform for other software suppliers to exploit.  If the others suppliers produce good software, we the consumer will use it, if it sucks we wont.  Keep out EU Commision spend my taxes where it counts not wasting it.  END OF!

  147. Anonymous says:

    So if I get this right, they are letting Microsoft propose a solution which is basically to load up a HTML page in their browser with some links?  How is that in any way a solution?  You still don't appear to be able to uninstall it (as in remove its binaries and libraries) or have the option not to install it to begin with.  Not good enough.

  148. Anonymous says:

    we'll i think from reading this that the Safari engine will work fine with windows seven(by the way I'm an idiot with comuters) and even i can sort out an engine for my running copy of seven(Windows 7)  I will say that i love this version so much so easy to navigate. and operate.  thx again for the great work.  I do hope Bill dosen't take all the applause for this version. thx again guy's for the help……….

  149. Anonymous says:

    This is just crap. I can understand that the 'normal' users don't want to choose but the IT people most of the time don't want to use IE or simply don't care what browser they use. So I can see the logic sense for this action and this is something I like better than the 'push IE through their throats' strategy. Now I would also like to see WMP go.

  150. anonymous says:

    Manny current installation CD's depend on navigating through the CD/DVD using a browser.  All those product must adjust their installation process and media.    So to mee it's not a good idea to deliver a windows version without a browser.  Microsoft developped a working solution without ignoring the existence of other browsers.    People who chose vigorously not to use IE might also choose not to use Windows at all, but install another OS like Linux .

  151. Anonymous says:

    I think you never should have given this option. Promote other browsers. On al the other OS there is a browser pre installed. Its just bullshit Internet Explorer is a great browser. Also for real webdevelopers

  152. Anonymous says:

    Wow, what a negativity on IE as a browser. First of all, you ALWAYS can download another browser if you want, so I don't see what's the problem there for some who don't want IE shipped with Windows 7, secondly you need a browser to get on the web to get… another browser for example. So shipping an OS without a browser is just like buying a car without a steeringwheel. You could complain that you don't want the original steeringwheel, but you still need the original one to get to the store to buy your prefered model.    About the powerplay of the EU you could go on and on, but it's a bit hypocryt to think there is no powerplay from the US or China for that mather.    If I buy Windows 7 I want the package and not a stripped version of it. I still can decide later if I want another browser, mediaplayer or whatever.

  153. Anonymous says:

    Microsoft. you did the right thing. I will use Microsoft products as I did the last 25 years, because it is the best.

  154. Anonymous says:

    This is good for the average user who would not understand about copying a browser to USB or CD (there are many out there still).    But if MS have to do this, then Apple are just as worse. I'd like to know the people at the commission and what OS they use.    Software manufacturers make awful software that ruins the OS and why can't we have Firefox 2 for Windows 7. Version 3 is awful.    Least with an MS OS, the MS software is made to work properly on the platform. I trust MS software more than other companies who would secretly code some backdoor or keylogger any day.    If you hate MS, then go to Linux or pay the premium for a UNIX apple mac. We know you'll come back.

  155. Anonymous says:

    I use Firefox and Chrome. In some ways Chrome evne better: faster, usable… But i need Firefox as a developer. I don`t have all that in IE. Just not get it

  156. Anonymous says:

    If you don't want Windows – don't buy it. For those complaining, MS is a monopoly for a reason, their products work and work well, it is their OS so they can make it work how they want, if I didn't like that, I would buy Apple or use Linux

  157. Anonymous says:

    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!).