Windows 7 E Kicks the Proverbial Bucket, IE Remains the Default Browser
Article by George Norman
On 03 Aug 2009
Microsoft has announced that Windows 7 E, the Windows 7 version that the Redmond-based company planned to market in Europe, is a thing of the past. Microsoft will no longer serve Windows 7 E to EU citizens, instead it will serve the same Windows 7 version that will be marketed in the US of A, come October 22nd, the date when the next iteration of the Windows-based operating system will hit the market.

“In the wake of last week's developments, as well as continuing feedback on Windows 7 E that we have received from computer manufacturers and other business partners, I'm pleased to report that we will ship the same version of Windows 7 in Europe in October that we will ship in the rest of the world,” explained Microsoft VP, Dave Heiner.

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I think a brief look back at the Windows 7 E story is necessary to better understand Dave Heiner’s statement. Initially Microsoft announced that it will market Windows 7 E in Europe, a version that came with no browser whatsoever and no means to upgrade from Vista to 7 (instead you have to perform a fresh installation). The problem is that not having a browser is not exactly the best choice as the prospect of getting one would be troublesome for the end user (not if you followed one of the 3 options we detailed here).

Microsoft then decided this could be more trouble than it’s worth and proposed a change to the European Commission. Windows 7 E would come with Internet Explorer after all, and the user that purchased a PC that comes with Windows 7 pre-installed and IE set as the default browser would be presented with a “ballot screen” that asks said user if he would like to install another browser.

Now it seems that several factors have determined Microsoft to drop its Windows 7 E plans. “One reason we decided not to ship Windows 7 E is concerns raised by computer manufacturers and partners,” explained Heiner. “Several worried about the complexity of changing the version of Windows that we ship in Europe if our ballot screen proposal is ultimately accepted by the Commission and we stop selling Windows 7 E. Computer manufacturers and our partners also warned that introducing Windows 7 E, only to later replace it with a version of Windows 7 that includes IE, could confuse consumers about what version of Windows to buy with their PCs.”

It should be mentioned that Microsoft’s “ballot screen” proposal is still being weighed by the European Commission and if it goes through then Microsoft will deliver the ballot screen to Windows 7 customers in the European Economic Area via the internet.



Tags: Microsoft, Windows 7 E, Europe, Browser, European Commission, IE, Internet Explorer
About the author: George Norman
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