Technical question

Bowing to European competition rules, Microsoft Windows 7 will ship without Internet Explorer.

European buyers of Windows 7 will have to download and install a web browser for themselves.

Err, how?

24 comments on “Technical question

  1. Snigger. But I still can’t figure out why it was bad for the consumer to get Internet Explorer for free instead of having to pay Netscape.

  2. Browsers come on all computer magazine CDs and, no doubt, will include IE8 if this goes ahead.

    And Kit, why pay Netscape? And , these days, who are they?

  3. Who only has one computer these days! Download the browser (using a browser) on your old pc and save to a usb stick, stick it on your new machine, run. Job’s a good’un.

  4. The problem is not that they bundle Internet Explorer with Windows, they can do that.

    The problem is that the tie it into the operating system and you can’t (easily) change your default internet browser. You certainly can’t permanently change it, it defaults at the drop of a hat.

  5. @GeoffH

    For the youngsters who read this blog: back in the good old days you had to buy your browser software. The market leader was Netscape which you could pick up for £30.

  6. “But I still can’t figure out why it was bad for the consumer to get Internet Explorer for free instead of having to pay Netscape.”

    Me neither, unless they objected to the fact that IE embedded itself even deeper into your system than the famed candiru fish into your urethra. And with pretty much the same consequences if you tried to extract it.

    But hey, you could just not use it with no ill effects…

  7. I imagine the download and install will be done via the “automatic update” system. However, I think that in most cases users will actually find that IE will already be installed when they buy their new computer. I would guess that the OEMs such as Dell, Sony etc will buy the IE free Windows 7 OS, but customers will not be too happy having a web browser free OS, so the OEMs will install the browser at the factory level. It is just a bit of manouvering by Microsoft to comply with European regulators.

  8. “For the youngsters who read this blog: back in the good old days you had to buy your browser software.”

    No you didn’t. Mosaic was free. So was Lynx. Mac had MacWeb. And even if you were using Netscape, no-one ever paid.

  9. I saw a programme on that fish the other day, I ddin’t realise they embedded themselves in women too…ouch!.

    I see your point though, my normal browser installation routine is, use IE to get “other” browser and then uninstall internet explorer.

  10. Even as a Linux/Firefox user, this whole thing stinks. I mean, Apple ship their OS with Safari so why not let MS ship whatever they want with their software. Yet another example of superfluous regulation.

  11. Soooo, we’re going to strengthen competition by not allowing competition?

    This isn’t going to do much to boost MS’s competitors. Sure a few people, having to load their own browser, will talk to friends who’ll point them to something else but most will use whatever MS offers them and like it. Why? Because as maligned as IE is (and all MS products) the reality is they provide the functionality your average user needs, so why spend time looking for products with features you don’t even know you want.

    Yes there are nice to have features in the other browsers, and even some should have stuff but the normal computer is promiscuous and doesn’t use protection and so will be full of adware and virii within minutes of connecting anyway.

    And I’m a little confused, I can download Firefox for free. But its still supported and updated with new features so somebody must be making money somewhere. Is it s ad supported? Are they selling my browser history? MS may be evil, but the evil is visible, I pretty much know how far to trust it.

  12. Agammamon: I don’t know about FF, but I use Opera which is free as well.
    They make their money from licensing to mobile devices and they also have an embedded Google search box from which they get a microcent or something everytime I use it. FF probably do something similar.

  13. ‘European buyers of Windows 7 will have to download and install a web browser for themselves.

    Err, how?’

    I followed your link and obviously misunderstood it.

    Go to Google, type ‘Firefox’.

    Gad, I’m boring me here.

    Maybe I am being obtuse but ‘ But I still can’t figure out why it was bad for the consumer to get Internet Explorer for free instead of having to pay Netscape.’

    I got Netscape for free – to get IE I had to buy Windows.

    Am I the only non-nerd in the world who has always been able to argue against this:-

    ‘The problem is not that they bundle Internet Explorer with Windows, they can do that.
    The problem is that the they tie it into the operating system and you can’t (easily) change your default internet browser. You certainly can’t permanently change it, it defaults at the drop of a hat.’

    No it does not. Yes you can. You are able to permanently change it. No it does not.

    (No offense, Kit) But anyone, then, who paid £30 for a browser had more money than sense.

    Never thought I would be in full agreenment with David Gillies but when truth is spoken….

    STB.

  14. Windows Automatic Update – Background Intelligent Transfer Service.

    But obviously they’re just playing silly buggers as a way of rubbing in the stupidity of the EU interference. It’ll still be packaged with IE, only it’ll be added by the OEM instead of being part of the OS.

  15. @ScotsToryB

    No offence taken but Netscape only became free in 1998. No wonder Netscape lost the browser wars if everyone just pirated the software. 😉

  16. I don’t like using IE if I can avoid doing so but I’ve found I have to have it because that’s what so many sites are written for.
    The webmail attached to my domain’s an example. It won’t work in FF although I can get most of the functions if I get it to load into FF in ‘simple browser’ mode.
    As for uninstalling, I tried that once & next time I booted there it was again! As far as I could work out the uninstall process doesn’t actually remove the program from the program folder or the settings that relate to it so as you boot it just installs itself again.
    Can an expert confirm this?

  17. Likewise car manufacturers should be prevented from bundling radios, seatbelts, etc.

    This is pure absurdity driven by insane nerds. When will we here the demands that Firefox, shitty browser of choice for the mad, stop “bundling” Google?

  18. One could always download firefox from one’s dual-boot Ubuntu partition.

    Or better still, just use Ubuntu and ditch Windows altogether — unless you play games Ubuntu or some other Linux distro is a better option than Windows.

  19. Or, of course, get a Mac and choose between one (or more) of the following free browsers: Safari, Webkit, Cruz, Shiira, Flock, Camino, OmniWeb, Stainless, Opera, Firefox, Sunrise, Seamonkey.

    Those are the ones that I know about — there may be more — and each has their strong points…

    DK

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