Windows 7 Needs Browsers, EU Says - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Software // Operating Systems

Windows 7 Needs Browsers, EU Says

European trustbusters reject Microsoft plan for shipping Windows 7 without Web software.

European competition officials said Friday that they were unimpressed by Microsoft's offer to ship a version of Windows 7 that does not come bundled with Internet Explorer, or any other Web browser, in order to mollify antitrust concerns.




Windows 7 screen shot
(Click for larger image and for full photo gallery)

"If the commission were to find that Microsoft had committed an abuse, the commission has suggested that consumers be offered a choice of browser, not that Windows should be supplied with no browser at all," the European Union's European Commission said in a statement.

Microsoft on Thursday said it would release a version of its next operating system, called Windows 7 E, that does not include Explorer 8. The company said it would be up to consumers and PC makers to decide whether to install Explorer or choose a rival browser, such as Mozilla's Firefox.

But the EC said the offer could do more harm than good.

"Given that over 95% of consumers acquire Windows pre-installed on a PC, it is particularly important to ensure consumer choice through the computer manufacturer channel," EC officials said. "Microsoft has apparently decided to supply retail consumers with a version of Windows without a Web browser at all.

"Rather than more choice, Microsoft seems to have chosen to provide less," said the EC.

The EC earlier this year said Microsoft's bundling of Windows and Explorer violates antitrust rules and stifles competition in the browser market. The EU has also levied more than $1 billion in fines against Microsoft for past antitrust violations.

"Given the pending legal proceeding, we’ve decided that instead of including Internet Explorer in Windows 7 in Europe, we will offer it separately and on an easy-to-install basis to both computer manufacturers and users. This means that computer manufacturers and users will be free to install Internet Explorer on Windows 7, or not, as they prefer. Of course, they will also be free, as they are today, to install other Web browsers," wrote Dave Heiner, Microsoft's deputy general counsel, in a blog post Thursday.

Microsoft in Europe previously offered a version of Windows, called Windows N, that did not include the Windows Media Player. The version proved extremely unpopular with consumers, Microsoft said.

Heiner said Windows 7 E will be available in 23 European languages and will ship the same time Windows 7 is delivered to the rest of the world – Oct. 22.

InformationWeek has published an in-depth report on Windows 7. Download the report here (registration required).

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Slideshows
11 Things IT Professionals Wish They Knew Earlier in Their Careers
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  4/6/2021
News
Time to Shift Your Job Search Out of Neutral
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  3/31/2021
Commentary
Does Identity Hinder Hybrid-Cloud and Multi-Cloud Adoption?
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  4/1/2021
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
Successful Strategies for Digital Transformation
Download this report to learn about the latest technologies and best practices or ensuring a successful transition from outdated business transformation tactics.
Slideshows
Flash Poll