back to article Europe clears Windows 7 for takeoff

The agreement between Microsoft and the European Commission on the bundling of Internet Explorer means Windows 7 is cleared to ship with IE included later this month. Microsoft's general counsel Brad Smith explained in a conference call: "Windows 7 will ship as planned - users will get Windows 7 then some time later they will …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    At last!

    Firefox & IE 8 to be installed.

    Opera can go whistle!!

  2. Bill Gould

    Still don't see the problem

    When I installed Win7 on 4 different machines I just chose not to install IE. *shrug* the EC is just a bunch of pandering nincompoops.

  3. John Meredith

    I'm Picking Opera

    I'll pick Opera just to make a statement. All you Opera bashers are typically stupid in your rationale. If you don't like the broswer then fine, but I reckon the ranting by the Opera heirarchy have done the world of Windows good. This is a positive step forward and all involved should be applauded.

  4. Warren G

    Nice idea but

    1. If you ship with just IE and later ask users what they want, they'll go "Er, what I've got works..." [perhaps they won't depending on IE]

    2. If this is a requirement for them selling Windows 7 it shouldn't ship till it's in there. I can't say "I'll get my licence once I've been driving a few months"!

    3. Even if the only time they see IE is the ballot screen, they are forced to run IE, and subliminally told it's normal. Is it that hard to at least use an IE frame in an application?

    4. If you let people choose later, will they have no browser? Of course not. They'll have IE, sorry I mean the vendor default, and vendors will be paid to make it IE. Then see 1.

    5. If you can, finally, turn off IE, please tell me you don't need it, or get to use it without knowing, for Windows Update etc.

    6. The default case should be random browser not IE. Not hard to implement.

    BTW the Firefox "pitch" needs working on - the others sound better but are more true of Firefox!

  5. Ben Rosenthal


    take your technology based discussion somewhere more appropriate!

    wait, what?

  6. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse
    Thumb Up

    It's Safari for me.

    As I love seeing fluffy animals with big sharp claws and stuff.

  7. ThomH

    @Bill Gould

    It's not just about end-user choice, it's also about the effect that distorting the browser market has on those running websites. What's happened here is that Opera have made a specific complaint, the EU have found that Microsoft are technically in breach, Microsoft have proposed a suitable but minimal redress, the EU have said it sounds acceptable.

    All sounds perfectly reasonable to me, as long as this isn't followed in a few days with any of the involved parties suddenly crying foul for some crazy little reason.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So when are Apple going to be forced to let people choose another browser besides Safari?

    Oh, I forget, when we talk about MS bundling applications is bad but when we talk about Apple bundling applications is good?!

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Well its IE8, Firefox 3 and Chrome for me on my existing installations and will be on Windows 7 when I install it.

  10. pikey


    will apple be publishing other browsers on there OS too? its only fair

  11. Dave Harris

    IE8 is a dog

    slowed my email client down to a crawl, up to 2 minutes to render a MIME mail.

    Uninstalled it, now there's no delay

  12. Anonymous Coward

    My choice

    I'll be sure to go for: "Browser 6 150 x 80 px Image Size"

    Sounds like my sort of browser.

    But then, they've greyed out the install link.


  13. Steve 72

    @John Meredith


  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I can understand Opera's stance...

    .. if the option screen installs IE with no additional hops but for other browsers you have to hop through multiple steps with the usual warning about downloading and installing "unknown" programs. Choose FF and basically get hassled about not knowing what you are doing....

    Quite why they couldn't make it a little standalone app which installed your browser of choice with no additional warnings I do not know.

  15. SynnerCal

    Re: Still don't see the problem

    Don't forget that the end-result of the EC interference was that Joe Public got a chance to get Windows 7 (sounds better than "Vista+" doesn't it) at a cheaper price point. If it also means that it's _easier_ to go IE-free (note the qualification - I realise that guru's can pretty much strip out IE anyway)

    Way I look at it, this was an all-win situation. Microsoft get to sell their OS, We get it cheaper, The EC look effective (good PR). Mozilla/Opera get the chance to increase their market share. Heck, it might mean that we'll see less of these damned silly "IE only" websites - fingers crossed.

    I'm a dedicated Linux'er but heck even I'm thinking of getting a second copy of Windows7 (One to replace the Win7RC I'm using, and another for the kids for those Windows-only moments like iTunes).

    One fun thing I noticed from the Win7RC - some websites failed pretty badly (McAfee Beta being the most obvious) when I tried with IE8. But strangely enough Firefox3.5 worked fine (and was noticably quicker).

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    The blurb is wrong. It doesn't clearly state that IE is the least standards compatible, most insecure or least stable of the three.

  17. Lockwood

    Make Opera happy

    Deliver Opera via an update to display the ballot page.

    Then people can use Opera to install anything but it!

    No doubt Opera would complain about that as well.

    Personally, I'd like to try "Browser 6"

  18. Si 1
    Gates Horns

    Does this include OEM installs?

    Is this for retail copies of Win 7 or does it include OEM versions as well? What's to stop MS from persuading their OEM partners that it's simpler not to offer anything buy IE8 to their customers and in return they get a discount from MS? I can't see the EC being able to influence how PC box shifters configure their products, and most IE users are the type to buy a beige box from PC World anyway, so it seems to me MS might not be giving up much market share here.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Those precious freaks at Opera Software

    "We are still studying the announcement from the European Commission and will have further comments at a later stage."

    Probably starting with the word "Baaaaaaaaaaawwwww !".

  20. Anonymous Coward


    Apple would only need to have a browser choice when they get more than 5% market share (which will never happen) and then you would have to install it from iTunes.

  21. Martin Chandler
    Thumb Down

    This isn't good enough

    I dont know why, but it is microsoft so it simply can't be good enough! mmmm Apples!

  22. sandman

    Be nice to Opera

    Not quite sure where all the Opera hatred comes from, it's not a bad browser and the company has little choice but to try and get market share any way it can. Let's face it, you could take IE away from MS and not make a dent in the company, ditto Safari and Apple and Chrome and Google. Only Firefox and Opera among the major browser makers rely almost entirely on their browsers to make a profit.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm going to laugh my arse off

    if this actually proves to reduce IE market share

  24. Hate2Register

    Scumbag Web2 Nazis..

    I don't want any of your scumbag browsers. I'd like an open source browser that I can upload into my phone, and possibly my brain, for a true AI internet experience.

    The only reason for multiple browsers is for testing websites that I create. Having played with them all, I can tell you they are all crap. Europe is proving that is has more bureaucrats and safety officers than anyone else. If the biggest issue facing Western civilisation is what software we view the internet through, then we are building ourselves a dreamscape, satisfyingly devoid of earthly reality. Emoticons and adverts are the reality. We need cosmic routers in space (a la Accelerando) to broaden the horizons.

    Let's face it. IE is sweaty bollocks, Firefox is pretentious and patronisingly superior (who needs those poncey plug-ins anyway), Opera is in a retirement home, Safari is illegally and unavoidably bundled on my iPhone (trust issues there man).

    The truth is that the internet is like those fecking BBS hacker groups, full of freetards who can't do shit, would-be gurus who think the sun does arsehole shining, and the odd expert who make the thing run.

    The internet is worse than fecked, it's boring, limited, and destined to be eaten by the next big public folder phenonemon, which hopefully will put more power in the hands of users, by building everyone's brains into computer clouds. Because that's what we all want, right?

  25. NogginTheNog

    I don't understand

    All you people having a pop at Opera: you are IT techies right? You were around during the great (con of the) US Gov. vs Microsoft trials, right? You did read about how Netscape was killed off by the bundling of IE, right? You have witnessed the distortion of the 'web these past 10 years due to the illegal dominance of Internet Explorer and it's crap non-standards compliance, right? You do remember how development of the IE stagnated for a number of years until Firefox finally pitched up (for free) and started to provide competition, right?

    So you don't mind any of that, and aren't interested in any attempts to try and redress some of that, even if it is years late, right??

  26. Paul Leighton

    Its a fake choice..

    Microsoft will have used the techniques out of the old joke error message and will ensure when you go to click on anything else the curser will auto jump around until you hit IE8. :)

  27. Anonymous Coward


    Wow - you have some "issues". Get yourself some therapy before it happens big time.

  28. DavidB

    Will this really help?

    As Ted Dziuba said in a "Fail and You" article not too long ago, most users only know of their web browser as "that little blue 'e' " which lets them do fun things such as google, ebay and so on.

    With the EC allowing an Internet Explorer window to be used, (assuming there is no forceful stance on a choice being made before IE itself displays a home page) what's to stop users simply heading straight for the address bar and circumventing the entire purpose of the ballot?

    Admittedly most users that fall in the aforementioned (aesthetically driven) category will most likely be those who do not memorise domain names. Still - a small application with IE *disabled* to begin with would have been the best approach, as some other comments have quite rightly said.

  29. IGnatius T Foobar

    Windows 7 == fail

    It would be better to simply NOT SHIP WINDOWS 7 AT ALL. When people still use Microsoft products after years and years of poor quality and abuse from the company, it really demonstrates that people in general are stupid. There are better products out there.

  30. Anonymous Coward

    Stupid idea.

    I REALLY hope this update doesn't actually install the browsers before you click install... If it does, Windows Update is getting disabled. There is no way I am EVER letting an installer by Crapple or Opera anywhere NEAR my computers.

  31. Omar Marquez


    Hey Hate2Register, you're full of cr*p. The interweb thing is a cool thing, and not just for pr0n and the millions of cute kitten pictures available..

    Perhaps you should stop websurfing on your Amstrad and get something that has more oomph?

    What you *should* be ranting about is lack of full compliance with HTML 5, and overuse of Flash (I like Flash, but sometimes some Flash Designers are asshat morons who use it without giving us a DHTML option... WTF is that about, as if we all had a quad-core Macinpoop computer to run their top-heavy web app in order to check our bank accounts!)

  32. Phil 49

    Not Safari

    Oh god don't put Safari first in the list, that'll tempt people to download the horrific thing. Even the Mac users I work with hate it.

  33. kurucu

    IE hate IE

    But that doesn't mean I don't want it on Windows.

    They can install three copies if they like. As long as I get to choose to remove it, and everything else continues to work.

    The reason Apple can ship OS X with Safari is that I can drag it to the trash and everything continues as normal.

    So what happened in the EC, they started out saying MS can't tightly integrate anything with Windows because it's unfair, and now they've managed to force Windows to be shipped without any useful software at all. Did someone forget what they were originally demanding, or perhaps had a bit of a power rush?

  34. Al Jones


    Netscape wasn't killed off by the bundling of IE, it was killed off because IE 4 proved to be at least as good a browser as Netscape 4, and and IE5 was even better. There was no Netscape 5, and Netscape 6, when it was finally released, was a pig.

    Microsoft might well have been guilty of all sorts of nefarious dealings at the time, but they also managed to create a browser and an operating system that made the Internet mainstream.

  35. Infidellic

    IE still there?

    Is it just me or is the ballot screen being displayed in isn't the "Install" IE redundant?

  36. Lewis Mettler 1

    fair and open market precluded

    Maybe if you are a slow learner you might think that the settlement with the EC Commission will somehow permit fair and open competition in the browser market. But, it will not. And can not.

    Microsoft remains the only company that forces the SALE of IE upon all consumers. After you pay for it you may be able to disable it. At least from the icon. But, since you have been forced to buy the technology any application that relies upon IE technology will still work regardless, right?

    In summary, Microsoft remains the only company with a viable revenue model based upon the sale and installation of IE. The monopoly is guaranteed.

    And the idiots at the EC Commission are responsible for doing nothing.

  37. Big-nosed Pengie


    "Joe Public got a chance to get Windows 7 (sounds better than "Vista+" doesn't it) at a cheaper price point."

    I've always wondered - what is a "price point" and how is it different to a "price"?

  38. This post has been deleted by its author

  39. Hate2Register

    @ Anonymous Coward (wrote: 'Wow - you have some "issues"..')

    No doubt you will tell me what my issues are (why the "quote" marks clever clogs?), just like you can't wait to tell me what browser to use, and what I should be thinking. What will happen if I don't get therapy? Will "it happen big time"?

    No wonder you're anonymous. Or, I should say, St. Hieronymus (in your head).

  40. Usko Kyykka


    Hear, hear !

    Microsoft started the browser wars to destroy Netscape, which at the time was a commercial product sold for a price by chiefly using rather predatory pricing (0 $) and its de-facto monopoly position to make IE pre-installed on pretty much every PC sold. As Lewis Mettler points out, Microsoft is is the only one to profit for offering IE nominally free. This, again is based on the same monopoly where someone using IE also necessarily uses Windows (for which Microsoft gets paid).

    It (BTW) seems to me that Microsoft's decision to "integrate" IE and Windows so very tightly was based on the premise that they could honestly say that IE cannot be removed without breaking Windows in case the competition authorities were to require this ... so I suppose Microsoft took this very seriously as they didn't hesitate to compromise the quality their chief asset (Windows/monopoly) here. Of course, at the time the threat seemed to be that the OS becomes chiefly something on which a browser runs on and the applications, in turn, might run under the browser making it, in effect, a competing OS.

  41. Gareth Jones

    What's the big deal?!

    Warren G said "...they are forced to run IE, and subliminally told it's normal....".

    It IS normal. IE is the browser that Windows ships with. It is perfectly adequate for surfing the web. Sure, it's got flaws but it's not like you're forced to use it. I know it lurks around in the background but if you're really that obcessed, you can go through the pain of removing and replacing it. The crime would be if you were prevented from running an alternative browser, surely?

    Perhaps MS should install Firefox as the default browser.....yeah, sure if Mozilla make it financially worthwhile for them. MS are in it for the's called business, that's why you do it.

    If Windows shipped with no browser at all, how would your average user install one? Sure, you just download it from their website....oh wait, you can't because you have no browser. Should everyone go and buy some PC magazine with a CD on the front just to install a browser? I've been around in the days where the software you needed to connect to the internet was only available on the internet.....and it's not entirely convenient.

    The situation is exactly the same with other OS'es. Apple give you Safari as the default - and try to inflict it upon your Windows environment as an 'upgrade' for iTunes too. Each flavour of Linux has it's default browser, it's default choice of Gnome, KDE etc etc. There's a default but you have a choice. There may be many things wrong with Windows.....but I can't side with the arguement that supplying a convenient - if imperfect - browser with it is one of them.


  42. Richard 102

    A few reminders

    1) This shouldn't apply to Apple (at least at the moment) because Apple did not use a monopoly in one area to kill off competition in another area.

    2) It was neither Bush nor the US Government per se that screwed up the case against MicroSoft. It was Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson who opened his yap to the press and thus screwed up the whole case. A lot of the evidence against MS couldn't be used after that, so the government decided to just throw in the towel because what they could use wouldn't get a conviction and would only waste time and money. (You know, so many people accuse the government of wasting time and money on useless investigations; the one case when they do the sensible thing is the one where people accuse them of selling out.)

    3) Opera is a nice enough browser, and they've figured out a way to get enough paying niches to stay in business.

  43. Nick Pettefar


    The only use I ever made of Safari on my Mac was to download Firefox.

    No Plugins, no Flash-block and a persistent Google search bar. Ugh!

    Opera seems OK, my missus uses it all the time on her XP-Thinkpad.

  44. Hate2Register

    @Omar Marquez

    The internet isn't 'cool', it's a tool. But hey, I like it too. But your predilection to 'pr0n' and those millions of cute kitten pictures does not enhance your case. You seem to be knocking down my rant in order to make yours seem more authentic and adult. Way to go.

    What else about yours points can I comment on... I stopped using my Amstrad in 1989, and unlike you I don't use a Flash site to do internet banking on.

    But the lack of a quad-core Macintosh in your life, along with radical advocacy for HTML5 and DHTML, mark you out as an angry young man. I suggest getting out more, perhaps even a little exercise.

  45. Anonymous Coward

    Epic fail

    @ Bill Gould

    "When I installed Win7 on 4 different machines I just chose not to install IE. *shrug* the EC is just a bunch of pandering nincompoops."

    Oh Jeez, without the European Commission "bunch of pandering nincompoops" as you put it, you would not have had the choice not to install it... Some people do sounds stupid sometimes, don't you think so?

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