Removing IE8 from Win7 Not Enough: Euro Commission

Dennis Faas's picture

Last week Microsoft announced it would try its best to avoid antitrust charges in Europe by shipping Windows 7 without Internet Explorer 8. Unfortunately, it seems few abroad are satisfied with that move.

Some felt it was a gracious move by the Redmond-based company, which has been under antitrust investigation by the European Union since complaints were first made in 2001.

EC: Still Not Enough

Surprisingly, European regulators still aren't impressed.

In a statement released over the weekend, the European Commission rejected Microsoft's offer, stating that it felt the move would not increase the competitiveness of the browser market or allow smaller names like Opera or Mozilla to compete with Microsoft in that space. (Source:

Many insiders believe the quick rejection was made because of the 2004 Windows Media Player debacle, when Microsoft removed the program from its operating systems. Many consumers simply demanded it be put back in, and the impact on sales was marginal at best.

It's expected that under Microsoft's plan consumers would be asked by retailers what browser they'd like to try when they make a new Windows 7-based PC purchase. Given the name recognition of Microsoft and Internet Explorer, it's unlikely anyone will blurt out the name of a small time browser.

Regulators Want Browser Ballots

Instead, the European Commission wants every copy of Windows 7 to include a browser election of sorts. Regulators suggest that the best method would be to have every browser available at the time of purchase, giving the buyer a chance to try out them all.

That, of course, is not what Microsoft wants. It wants a one-time commitment by the new consumer, and because everyone recognizes their name, it's likely most will go with IE8 anyhow. (Source:

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