Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 11th Jun 2009 22:03 UTC
Windows In a move to basically outflank the EU antitrust investigation, Microsoft has announced that all version of Windows 7 shipped in Europe will not include Internet Explorer 8 by default. This is reminiscent of the Windows XP N editions, which did not include Windows Media Player, but the difference here is that Microsoft will not ship versions of Windows 7 with Internet Explorer 8 in Europe.
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Because in fact this move is not a real IE removal from operating system. It's just a move to show us something (but I'm not sure what right now) and maybe to satisfy EU antitrust commission. In Ju-Jitsu such technique is called "kaishin" - "evading by bypassing". I don't believe we can consider MS decission to be the sigh of EU success.

If all apps will work still, because there will be webbrowser.ocx avaialbe and registered in operating system with all necessary libraies, we cannot say that the browser is removed. It will be partially removed to hide all the internals, but you would be able to embedd the browser (by placing webbrowser.ocx ActiveX control on yhe form) in any application... This means, that you'll be even able to create your simple web browser based on IE, with the same rendering capabilities in the system which was sold as a Windows 7 with removed IE. Funny thing...

If they will remove IE totally (and in real meaning of the word "to remove") this has to mean that all apps with embedded IE (I mean just one and widely used ActiveX control - webbrowser.ocx) have to stop working.

Unfortunatelly, I think from Windows 7 and other Windows operating systems architectre point of view - total removal of IE is impossible since late versions of Windows 95 and NT 4.0 (after some Service Packs).

Now, I don't nderstand why someone gave me -1 point on my comment. As you can see there are 2 possible options:

- if ALL apps will work still - it's not a real removal, just hiding the web browser user interface. I consider this move to be a kind of "kaishin". After such move, usually you can expect an attack.
- if in fact all apps based on IE (with embedded webbrowser.ocx ActiveX control) will stop working, this means that they really removed IE and all it's components. Unfortunatelly, it's not possibe due to several reasons. Main of them is the general MS Windows OS design, which is not radically changed in Windows 7, as I think (we may consider that to some level all MS Windows versions starting from NT4 through 2000, XP, Vista and now upcoming Windows 7 are very similar in some basic design concepts), and it results in the situation where you just cannot remove IE totally from OS. You can just try to hide the fact, that IE still is in there - which is not the real "removal".

I think, as always, MS prepared something special for us. Watching them is like watching a good ju-jitsu randori with other market competitiors and users. Once again I'll repeat, MS won the fight several times. I don't believe this time they plan to give up. They did this move to make another one, to win some special prize - and one thing we can be sure: "after successful evasion there is always an attack." I'm sure that MS is trying to solve the issue with bundled IE - we have two options:

- to accept that partial removal of IE (which has nothing to do with the expected, real removal) as a solution and agree that the IE has been removed (which is not true from technical point of view).
- to start complaining that the IE shouldn't be removed.

In both situations they make a good background for future moves (attacks?). Thanks to that they can show us that bundling is not so bad.

In my opinion, MS can bundle what they want, as it's their product and EU shouldn't try to generate more and more laws and regulations. The market want to be free, not controlled. We can always decide what we want to use. I'm using Slackware Linux, it suits me very well and I don't need MS at all.

Now tell me, why someone gave me -1 for my last comment :-) It's not so stupid I think.

Edited 2009-06-12 14:41 UTC

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