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 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.

Apple makes available Safari 4 beta


Safari, the default browser on Apple computers, has just been upgraded. The company claims the new beta is “the fastest and most inovating web browser for Mac and Windows PCs”.

Apple’s lifted some of the best features of other browsers – Chrome’s speed, Opera’s top sites, and tabs from Firefox (and everyone else, these days). They haven’t stolen anything from IE, but is there anything worth stealing there? They’ve also added a cover-flow style interface for browsing through your bookmarks too. Pretty, but a little pointless?

Interesting, Safari 4’s default UI on Windows looks like Windows, unlike previous versions where it looked like OSX. That’s a pretty significant change for a company that usually prides itself on its design.

If you want to try it out, it’s available from Apple’s website right now.

Safari 4 (via Tech Radar)