Microsoft has confirmed that the European release of their much anticipated OS, Windows 7, will be shipped without their Internet Explorer web browser.
The reason for this, somewhat strange, exclusion is the ongoing legal wrangle between Microsoft and the European Commission. The basic argument from the EC is that, by including IE bundled with Windows, Microsoft is creating unfair competition in the market.
So, Microsoft has pulled a major strop and has announced that Windows 7 E versions (the E stands for European, see what they did there?) will be devoid of any trace of IE. Although, of course, customers will still be able to install IE if they want to – Bill and the gang aren’t that magnanimous.
The EC is being equally as callow in the argument, however. They’ve reacted to the news by complaining that “rather than more choice, Microsoft seems to have chosen to provide less”.
Come on guys, kiss and make up, life’s too short.
I actually think the news is a good thing – there are plenty of good browsers out there, many of which are far superior to IE. This statement is backed up by the fact that IE’s market share is tumbling, whilst alternatives such as Firefox are gaining ground rapidly. Check out this brilliant Wiki which shows how, in the last five years or so, IE’s market share has fallen by over 25%, whereas Firefox’s has risen by nearly 20%.