Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 12th Jun 2009 13:55 UTC
Internet Explorer Yesterday, Microsoft dropped a bomb by announcing that all versions of Windows 7 released in Europe would ship without Internet Explorer pre-installed. This was in answer to the EU antitrust investigation currently under way regarding possible illegal bundling of Internet Explorer with Windows. The first reactions to this news are coming in, with Opera and the EU both lamenting the move.
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While MS business culture is detremental to say the least, they do hire some of the brightest programmers before hamstringing them with marketing and strategy demands. They could allow some of the bright developers enough freedom to solve the problem rather than push the agenda.

Even still, there are other options.

ftp.exe, it's still there and isn't a very cryptic address to guess nor is

Windows Update seems to be a local utility rather than browser app. You don't need a browser to connect, get your updates and add a browser of your choosing along with other programs. As I mention elsewhere though, there are "business" reasons this would be hard to do rather than any technical challenge.

Browser installs don't take much space, a selection of installs on the original disk wouldn't be noticable.

Preinstalls are how most get there Windows license and I'm pretty sure Dell and the other's can figure out how to download a chosen browser and include it into the standard system image.

On Maemo Linux devices, there is an icon; "Skype". Skype isn't installed but when you hit that icon the first time it asks "say, should I go download and install Skype for you?". This works after the install's first boot very easily.

Along that same line; if your installing Windows on a non-networked machine browsing is probably not your primary concern. This means that your likely going to have a network connection available when you do install it if browsing is going to be a desired function of the system. By extent, they could simply have a network ping to grab the latest browser list and pull the install from the applicable location rather than off the original disk.

I just don't see a system installed without an initial browser being a real challenge. The question is elsewhere in this particular "whatif" scenario.

Actually, my thinking is that the crippled Win7 EU edition is along the lines of the Mediaplayer less XP EU edition; sold at the same price while advertising less included software. Ultimately, they'll be able to engineer a market failure of that SKU number and go "but the market wants our bundled software".

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