Microsoft: No IE included with European Windows 7

In response to fair competition laws and accusations of monopoly abuse (as usual), Microsoft has relented on shipping Windows 7 with Internet Explorer, at least in Europe. Does anyone else find this a little strange? The main problem with IE was that it was built so closely into Windows that it was essentially a component, which led to the abuse accusations. But merely including another (free) product with the purchase of the OS doesn’t seem like a problem at all. And how are the poor Europeans supposed to download a new browser if they don’t have one to begin with?!

I’m sure they’ll figure that out. Perhaps a new install step with a browser selection? That’d work fine, but it still seems unnecessary as long as you can uninstall IE for real. But while the commission investigating Microsoft’s potential crimes has recommended offering a choice of browser (if they were to recommend anything, pending Microsoft’s appeal and the commission’s blah blah blah), Microsoft took the petulant route, saying simply “well if they can’t have IE, they won’t have anything at all! So there!”

Well, that’s putting it a bit too much in playpen terms. But I think we can all agree it’s an awkward solution to an awkward problem.

In bed.