Friday, June 12


Windows Internet ExplorerMicrosoft will be shipping Windows 7 in Europe sans Internet Explorer 8.

This is of course to stay on the good side of well intentioned yet misguided anti-trust agencies in Europe.
Reactions have ranged from the uninitiated "how can you download a browser without a browser?" to the rabidly fanatic on either side of the fence.
I still recall the Windows 98 without Internet Explorer that Microsoft used to "proof" that Windows didn't work without it. For reference, this version sucked worse than Windows ME.
I wouldn't be surprised if M$ were to pull that particular rabbit again. But they don't have to really.

A lot of applications e.g. game launchers for half the MMO's out there, games like the Sims 3 and several others all use Internet Explorer's engine to render their content, which really are webpages. NCSoft's NCPlayer uses it. Half the games that are capable of launching an URL will do so using Internet Explorer, regardless of whether or not you have some other Browser set as your default browser. All of those will not work on Windows 7, and there will be a very helpful pop-up explaining exactly why.

In order to be able to keep using these apps I'll have to get the Rendering Engine and Microsoft would be stupid to have that hidden but enabled on thier IE-less versions of Windows 7. They want you to realize you can't do without it.
Luckily Windows 7's helpfull maintenance assistance / troubleshooter system the name of which escapes me just now will be very happy to download Internet Explorer 8 without using a browser. Come to think of it, that thing uses IE's rendering Engine as well. Hmmm, maybe they actually will give you a helpful message telling you how to solve the issue then let you sweat for it...

So all this really means is I'll have to spend 5 to 10 minutes downloading and installing Internet Explorer 8, and so will everyone else in Europe. Which is all in favor of Microsoft's position.
So much for the time and effort wasted by the European Commission trying to deal with MS'es misuse of their monopoly position. They have yet to learn that Microsoft is now so firmly entrenched they have third parties who abuse their monoploy position for them. Microsoft for a while now can play nice and roll over to these browser anti-trust suits without nary a hitch.

You can bet your ass M$ will make IE-less Windows 7 just onerous enough that any corporation in the EU is going to go for the version with Internet Explorer 8. Especially since they still claim IE is free there likely will not be a price difference between the versions.
You can also bet that M$ will be showing the EU those sales figures.

And that's all because they opened up their API's for Open Source initiatives as ordered by the US Supreme court.
While things like Samba and OpenOffice may work slightly better with Windows now but it's mostly "lazy" applications using the IE render engine's API to save some time that jumped on that wagon. It must be annoying for those huge governments that all they can achieve against this three times convicted felonous organization is phyrric, hollow victories.


  1. I'd forgotten about Windows XP N (the one without Windows Media Player)
    "Sales of Windows XP N represented just 0.005 per cent or 1/20,000th of one per cent of overall XP sales in Europe by April 2006 - the last time Microsoft released figures.
    "By comparison, 35.5 million copies of the fully functional version of Windows XP were sold in Europe during the same nine-month period," Microsoft said."


  2. Considering how quiet they kept XP N I'm not surprised :)

  3. They being the OEM resellers and retail outlets.
    Again, M$ is letting other parties do the stuff that abuses their monopoly, and they don't even have to twist any arms for it anymore.

  4. I kinda like Microsoft. They deliver what I want from an OS. I am doing most of my work on Linux. And although it is getting better, I am so glad I have Windos Vista at home, and not version of some linux distribution set. I do use Firefox though. It was better than IE6. So I see no need now to even try IE8.

    The EU and US anti trust chasers can't do much because most people don't really mind that Microsoft has this monopoly. But I don't see it as the all evil ruler. Threy are just the best in a VHS vs Betamax kind of way.

  5. VHS and Betamax being the two technically inferior systems at the time. Good comparison.
    While I like Linux better for nearly everything except Desktop OS, I think you really only have two choices for Desktop and that's Bill or Steve.

    I was thinkiong the other day about how I prefer to use several third party utility applications: Thunderbird & Gmail for mail - Firefox - XNView in stead of MS's image viewers - VLC Player and WinAMP rather than WMP, Steam and or Trillian for chatting - Yahoo! Widgets rather than Desktop Gadgets e.t.c.

    With Windows 7 most of these applications, especially with the xxx Live stuff, have become mature to the point that if I were to start using these utilities now, Today, for the first time there'd be no reeason to look for a better alternative. Yet I keep using them out of a sense of familiarity. All of these applications I first used as Open Source apps on Linux. SOmetimes as much as 10 years before Microsoft caught on to the idea.

    So there's definately a place for Linux / Open Source in my book. But for creature comforts, go MS. This does leave closed source companies like Opera hanging though.

  6. Ok, if I show my age I should link to the past :-)
    V2000 Philips' superior video system that lost to more popular (cheaper) VHS and Betamax.