No bundled Internet Explorer with Euro Windows 7


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 have 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%.

I’m a real advocate for Firefox, as you may have noticed, but don’t dismiss Google’s Chrome, Apple’s Safari or, err…Norway’s Opera. Or take our unique test to see what browser you are.

Windows 7 is out on 22nd October.
(via Reuters)

Google updates Chrome – faster, more stable and now with form autofill too

I may not be enamoured by gmail but I’m a sucker for Google Chrome. I admit it. So, it brings me great pleasure that the G-Lords have just updated their browser by making it 30% faster at loading Java-heavy pages and added a couple of features too.

The new version of Google’s WebKit, on which the sofware’s based, and the V8 Java engine are to thank for a lot of the improvement but, if it’s tweaks you’re after, then you’ll be pleased to hear they’ve added the auto form-fill and a degree of discretion by allowing you to delete thumbnails from the “most viewed pages” section. What you browse when you’re not reading Tech Digest will, of course, go no further.

If you haven’t tried Chrome, I’d recommend giving it a blast. If you’re using Firefox, I’m not going to argue. I’d risk the wrath of a certain Mr Rawlins if I didn’t give a shout out to Opera and, if you’re using IE, please stop.

(via Google Blog)

Google Chrome TV ad hits the airwaves

Google has taken, what is for them, an unprecedented marketing step by releasing a TV advert to promote one of their services. A 30-second commercial for Chrome is now airing in the States to encourage the public to use their browser which launched a year ago.

The advert was put together by a team from YouTube and is obviously designed to demonstrate the simplicity of the software with the playschool look animation. That’s all very well and good on YouTube but Google’s aim is to take market share away from IE, which currently handles over 60% of US traffic, and that could be difficult when the advert doesn’t explain what Chrome actually is.