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Microsoft Drops Windows 7 E Editions

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the gets-no-bread-with-one-meatball dept.

Microsoft 423

A week after Microsoft agreed to include a browser ballot screen in Windows 7 systems sold in Europe, then announced that those systems would initially include no browser at all — specifically, no Internet Explorer — Microsoft has changed its mind again and dropped talk of a European Windows 7 E edition. Here is the official Microsoft blog announcement, which includes a screen shot of the proposed ballot screen. The browsers are listed left-to-right in order of market share, with IE therefore having pride of place. PC Pro notes that, since the ballot screen would not appear if IE were not pre-installed, Microsoft's proposal opens the door for Google to work with PC manufacturers to get Chrome on new machines. Note that the browser ballot screen has not yet been accepted by the EU, though the initial reaction to it was welcoming.

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Wait, what? (3, Interesting)

SilverHatHacker (1381259) | more than 5 years ago | (#28919253)

The ballot screen would not appear if IE were not installed.

Doesn't that kinda kill the point of the whole project?

Re:Wait, what? (4, Interesting)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 5 years ago | (#28919311)

It seems to me that this enables manufacturer to choose:

1) Install "IE", which by default asks user which browser to install
2) Install another browser by default
3) Dont install any browser at all (the Windows 7 E route)

What makes me wonder tho, is the IE removed after installing another browser?

Re:Wait, what? (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#28919539)

What makes me wonder tho, is the IE removed after installing another browser?

What do you think? What Microsoft product installer has automatically uninstalled another Microsoft product....ever?

Re:Wait, what? (5, Insightful)

xlsior (524145) | more than 5 years ago | (#28919645)

What makes me wonder tho, is the IE removed after installing another browser?

They've said (when announcing the 'E' versions) that it would not come with the browser front-end, but that the back-end rendering engine would still be there since so many other applications depend on it. So I guess it's more hidden than actually removed.

Re:Wait, what? (0, Troll)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 5 years ago | (#28919687)

It will stick around in case your change your mind...

PS: They don't have much choice. Part of their strategy to get IE onto all machines was to put all fancy new user interface controls into the IE DLLs. There was a time when you had to distribute IE along with your own application if you wanted it to run, even though there was no web browsing functions in it (assuming you used those controls, obviously...)

Re:Wait, what? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28919871)

This is completely false. It sounds like something you've just repeated after hearing it, but...

As an experienced Windows developer for the last 10 years, I can say you are mistaken. I'm not sure if you are thinking of the MSHTML engine (which a lot of people use for UIs because writing UIs with HTML and JavaScript is convenient) or the Windows extended common controls that came along with Win98 / Win95 Shell Update (which happened to include Internet Explorer).

Whether this is from you or from someone else, it's just pure FUD.

Re:Wait, what? (1)

Krneki (1192201) | more than 5 years ago | (#28919861)

What makes me wonder tho, is the IE removed after installing another browser?

And drop the support for 50% of the Viruses? Never! :)

*Most of the viruses use IE to work.

Re:Wait, what? (1)

Qubit (100461) | more than 5 years ago | (#28919437)

The ballot screen would not appear if IE were not installed.

Doesn't that kinda kill the point of the whole project?

Presumably if IE is not installed, then the computer manufacturer would put a different browser in its place and the end user would never see the ballot screen.

This would only lead to problems if one of the non-IE browsers suddenly captured 90%+ of the market share and also used this position to break compatibility, force use of proprietary, patented protocols and formats, and basically f*ck everyone else over. I don't expect Google, Opera, or Mozilla to do this, so it's not really an issue.

Re:Wait, what? (0, Troll)

RedK (112790) | more than 5 years ago | (#28919475)

Of course, that couldn't happen, because unlike Microsoft, other browsers don't have a monopoly market they can exploit to force OEMs to bundle their browsers and only their browsers.

Better way to go (4, Insightful)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 5 years ago | (#28919263)

This does look like a good way to go, and its good they also list the main features of every browser. This way more users also get to see how good Opera is too. However to make the list completely unbiased, they could randomize the order on every page load.

Seeing it uses IE to download the browser you want, have they made it so that IE gets removed after that too?

Re:Better way to go (2, Insightful)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 5 years ago | (#28919505)

they could randomize the order

Realistically, people aren't going to react well seeing a wall of unfamiliar names and being asked to make an informed choice. Most people just want to know what everyone else is using and then they'll pick one of those. We don't want users confused over some random browser they don't understand; that would be worse than making everyone use IE. The point is letting the users choose, not a mass exodus from IE.

Re:Better way to go (1)

basementman (1475159) | more than 5 years ago | (#28919561)

"This way more users get to see how good $fanboysbrowserofchoice is too."

Re:Better way to go (1)

MathiasRav (1210872) | more than 5 years ago | (#28919591)

However to make the list completely unbiased, they could randomize the order on every page load.

How is ordering by market share making the list biased? I mean, antitrust penalties notwithstanding

Re:Better way to go (1)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 5 years ago | (#28919837)

Because the market share itself has always been made biased by Microsoft's actions. The same ones we are discussing about. (however that was just minor sidecomment, I dont really care that much and I doubt the ordering will cause any problems)

Re:Better way to go (1, Insightful)

idamaybrown (584881) | more than 5 years ago | (#28919721)

Most users don't want Opera and after the ballot goes into effect, they still won't want Opera. Only way for Opera to gain market share is for them to make the government force users to use their browser over Firefox, Chrome, IE, etc.

Ballot only if IE is default, though (1)

Animaether (411575) | more than 5 years ago | (#28919799)

computer manufacturers are free to install any browser and set any browser to be the default when building Windows-based PCs [...] If IE is the default browser, the user will be presented with a list of other leading browsers

So if Dell were to decide that Google Chrome should be the default browser, then you will never see that the ballot list. They wouldn't get to see 'how good Opera is' at all.

Re:Better way to go (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28919807)

Randomized order? Way to make things more inconvenient for people, as they'd have to find the one they wanted on different installs.

Sorry, but this is enough of a burden, making it even worse in some cockeyed harebrained scheme of being fair isn't going to appeal to me.

Isn't it time to drop the bill gates borg icon??!! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28919275)

That joke has long past its expiration date; Bill Gates isn't at Microsoft anymore (on a regular basis), the Borg is from a tv show that ended over 15 years ago.

It's like using the Edsel to represent Ford, its just old and stale. time for slashdot to get with the times.

Re:Isn't it time to drop the bill gates borg icon? (5, Funny)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 5 years ago | (#28919333)

"That joke has long past its expiration date; Bill Gates isn't at Microsoft anymore (on a regular basis), the Borg is from a tv show that ended over 15 years ago.

It's like using the Edsel to represent Ford, its just old and stale. time for slashdot to get with the times."

I agree - lets change it to a flying chair.

Re:Isn't it time to drop the bill gates borg icon? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28919519)

Or a dancing monkey. Throwing a chair.

Re:Isn't it time to drop the bill gates borg icon? (5, Insightful)

MathiasRav (1210872) | more than 5 years ago | (#28919601)

I agree - lets change it to a flying chair.

This was modded Funny when it is in fact an awesome suggestion.

Re:Isn't it time to drop the bill gates borg icon? (1)

mtempsch (524313) | more than 5 years ago | (#28919367)

time for slashdot to get with the times.

We may not have flying cars, but in this case I vote for a flying chair icon...

Re:Isn't it time to drop the bill gates borg icon? (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 5 years ago | (#28919419)

That joke has long past its expiration date; Bill Gates isn't at Microsoft anymore

How about a Ballmer Borg? Even more terrifying than Bill Borg... Developers! Developers! Developers! Have a chair!

Re:Isn't it time to drop the bill gates borg icon? (1)

NervousNerd (1190935) | more than 5 years ago | (#28919459)

How about just a chair as the icon?

Re:Isn't it time to drop the bill gates borg icon? (5, Funny)

Linker3000 (626634) | more than 5 years ago | (#28919547)

Resistance is futile...you will be... furnished.

Re:Isn't it time to drop the bill gates borg icon? (5, Insightful)

RedK (112790) | more than 5 years ago | (#28919493)

Actually, as long as Microsoft keep pushing their one-vendor lock-in agenda, the icon is appropriate and not past its due date. When Microsoft becomes a beacon of openess that respects diversity, then the icon should be changed. The Borgs represent uniformity and control. Exactly what Microsoft stands for.

Re:Isn't it time to drop the bill gates borg icon? (5, Insightful)

jpmorgan (517966) | more than 5 years ago | (#28919569)

Then where's the Steve Jobs borg?

Re:Isn't it time to drop the bill gates borg icon? (4, Funny)

swilver (617741) | more than 5 years ago | (#28919815)

No need, the apple logo has the same effect for me.

Re:Isn't it time to drop the bill gates borg icon? (0, Troll)

XcepticZP (1331217) | more than 5 years ago | (#28919683)

The Borg represent achievement of perfection, through assimilation. Yes, that is exactly what Microsoft does. And no, I don't have a problem with it. Because they make amazing software... You can keep your shiny iCrap, thank you very much.

Re:Isn't it time to drop the bill gates borg icon? (1)

Bitmanhome (254112) | more than 5 years ago | (#28919703)

I'm so tired of vendor lock-in, especially at the OS level. I mean, I can't get my Linux apps to run on my Vax. When will people learn and make apps that run on all platforms?

Re:Isn't it time to drop the bill gates borg icon? (4, Funny)

mike260 (224212) | more than 5 years ago | (#28919513)

Let's see: Originally they were the implacable, unstoppable all-assimilating hyper-baddies, yet every time they threatened disaster the goodies found a way to defeat them. After a while this got routine and they lost their menace; now, despite their still awesome power, they're somehow boring and irrelevant.

Eh, still seems like a good fit to me.

Re:Isn't it time to drop the bill gates borg icon? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28919575)

The Borg disappeared from TV 8 years ago on May 23rd, 2001. :)

Re:Isn't it time to drop the bill gates borg icon? (1)

TechnoFrood (1292478) | more than 5 years ago | (#28919733)

7th May 2003 actually, there was one episode of Star Trek Enterprise which had the Borg in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regeneration_(Enterprise_episode) [wikipedia.org]

Of course I now expect there to be a load of replies claiming that no such show existed. :P

Re:Isn't it time to drop the bill gates borg icon? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28919825)

Ah, I stand corrected. I never was able to watch all Enterprise episodes, whether it's a good show or not I'll make my way there once I'm done with DS9. Going through a Star Trek month (or two) and downloading every Star Trek TV series > And then I guess I'll move on to the movies :P

Huh? (1)

donstenk (74880) | more than 5 years ago | (#28919277)

Am I the only one to find the title confusing and hard to read?

Re:Huh? (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 5 years ago | (#28919455)

Am I the only one to find the title confusing and hard to read?

Yes.

What, no Lynx?!? (3, Funny)

chrb (1083577) | more than 5 years ago | (#28919283)

Or Konqueror?

Bah.

Re:What, no Lynx?!? (1)

supersloshy (1273442) | more than 5 years ago | (#28919541)

Yeah, I was sure hoping Epiphany would make the list... guess my dreams are eternally shattered, Micro$oft!

Re:What, no Lynx?!? (1)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 5 years ago | (#28919791)

I was hoping for that browser that the Wollongong Group put together. Did you know that user surveys indicated it was twice as good as Netscape 4?

Re:What, no Lynx?!? (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 5 years ago | (#28919727)

And what about wget and curl?? ;)

Obsolete (3, Interesting)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 5 years ago | (#28919315)

I'm no lover of MS, but this business of them being in trouble for bundling the browser made sense back when Netscape cost $50 and there were no real choices for the layman. Nowadays it's really a non-issue. After all, anyone who cares is free to download any number of free browsers. When "free as in beer" is the default price of a web browser, how is MS giving theirs away anti-competitive?

Re:Obsolete (4, Insightful)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 5 years ago | (#28919341)

The most important thing is being able to remove the browser(and I mean really remove it) so it doesn't have it's hooks so deep in the OS that its impossible to get out. If they would just allow users to do that, then I think they should be able to ship whatever browser(s) they want with the system.

Re:Obsolete (2, Insightful)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 5 years ago | (#28919395)

That's not really feasible for lots of reasons, starting with the fact that thousands of apps use the IE rendering engine for displaying help content and other web content. It isn't possible to remove the engine without breaking all of those apps, and it isn't feasible to expect other browsers to conform to a programming API sufficiently to make it feasible for multiple engines to be supported for those purposes. You can certainly make it possible to remove the browser, but that basically means removing a tiny thin browser shell that's probably only tens of kilobytes of code. In other words, it's a pointless token gesture.

Re:Obsolete (4, Insightful)

RedK (112790) | more than 5 years ago | (#28919417)

It's far from pointless. People don't browse the web using a rendering engine, they use a browser. An HTML rendering engine is useless on its own. People need a way to tell the rendering engine what pages to load and render and a way to store caches, cookies, etc.. Leave the rendering engine on the system for help files, display in other apps, etc... that doesn't matter at all. As long as people are free to choose what they browse the web with, you remove Microsoft's dominance over web technologies and web evolution and that is the true goal.

Re:Obsolete (1)

gparent (1242548) | more than 5 years ago | (#28919629)

I guess you can be glad it's already been done, then? The grand parent has probably never heard of Windows 7, let alone tried it.

Re:Obsolete (3, Informative)

mR.bRiGhTsId3 (1196765) | more than 5 years ago | (#28919717)

MSHTML is a COM component. It is clearly non-trivial, but not impossible, for someone to wrapping another rendering engine with the same COM interface and substituting it in. I seem to remember there was an effort for gecko a while back for the windows platform, but either way, WINE uses gecko for apps that request access to MSHTML so it is clearly possible.

Re:Obsolete (0, Redundant)

gparent (1242548) | more than 5 years ago | (#28919653)

Care knowing what you're talking about before posting, next time? IE never had its hooks so deep in the OS, you're using an obsolete version of Windows. Furthermore, it's already possible to remove Internet Explorer from Windows 7, so I'm not sure what is left to cry about.

The EU is looking out for Norway's Opera (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28919357)

The EU's antitrust agency says that bundling shields IE from competition [computerworld.com] with other browsers, such as Opera.

(And Opera probably doesn't have a prayer of making money from their desktop product unless they can get more than the 0.7% marketshare they have.)

Re:The EU is looking out for Norway's Opera (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 5 years ago | (#28919447)

Unfortunately, even this screen shields IE from competition. It is well established that given a dialog that requires them to pick from multiple choices with equal prominence, an uninformed user tends to simply choose the first one. In short, by listing IE first, they are still significantly emphasizing use of their browser. Only random ordering would not be problematic as far as I'm concerned.

The best part from the article was this:

The browsers are listed left-to-right in order of market share, with IE therefore having pride of place.

Yet depending on the site you ask, some sites show Internet Explorer at much lower market share than FireFox. W3Schools, for example. Let's not make this anything other than what it is: Microsoft lists their browser first to make it more likely that people will choose their browser, period. It has nothing to do with IE's market share except insofar as it is an attempt to retain it.

Re:The EU is looking out for Norway's Opera (1)

MathiasRav (1210872) | more than 5 years ago | (#28919663)

It is well established that given a dialog that requires them to pick from multiple choices with equal prominence, an uninformed user tends to simply choose the first one.

But then, what if the uninformed user thinks their preferred browser actually is on the presented list? [blogspot.com] Mozilla probably won't be the winners if this so-called "ballot screen" ships.

Re:The EU is looking out for Norway's Opera (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 5 years ago | (#28919779)

Yeah, the whole "in order of market share" thing is a red herring.

Did anybody seriously think IE wouldn't be first on the list?

Re:Obsolete (5, Insightful)

RedK (112790) | more than 5 years ago | (#28919375)

The cost of the browser is not the issue, the control over what technologies get used on the Web is. Microsoft have proven that they don't want to play fair, by ignoring standards for so long and promoting their proprietary stuff. If Microsoft were to have a really poor market share, they'd have to write all their stuff for the open web, respecting standards so that everything works for every user. If they have 90% of all users on their platform, they can make sure that the other 10% are stuck trying to be compatible. This is basically what IE6 was and what IE represents. Their browser might be free as in beer to the user, but the indirect costs are enormous.

Re:Obsolete (1)

heffrey (229704) | more than 5 years ago | (#28919691)

Well, if people don't like it they can always install something else. Nobody forces you to buy Windows or use a Mac. People do it because they choose to.

Re:Obsolete (1, Insightful)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 5 years ago | (#28919693)

This reaks completely of "I.E. had no competition *sniff* so they didnt release new versions *sniff* so web developers dealt with what was available *sniff* but now there is competition *sniff* but IE is still buggy *sniff* make them develop products for me for free *sniff* and it better be the way I want *sniff* waaaaaaah!"

You went on and on about free software released in 2001, which wasnt updated for free like you wanted, for 5 years. It didn't have any more proprietary extensions than Netscape did (both were found, in court, the use lots of them) and it was in fact more standards-compliant than Netscape was. People cry about IE6's poor CSS support, but compared to NN6's CSS support its a laughable comparison.. NN6 crashed practically every time it saw even basic CSS.

So you are crying foul that a MORE-standards-complient browser when it was released wasn't updated for 5 years, for free for you to enjoy, at the expense of the shareholders of Microsoft.

I am almost certain that you werent even on the web at the time.. because you obviously don't know that about half the web had a little icon that said "Best viewed with Netscape Navigator['s proprietary extensions]"

Re:Obsolete (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28919421)

It's anti-competitive because Opera has bitched to the EU that if only people knew about Opera, they would use it instead of Internet Explorer. Because no one knows that there is an alternative to Internet Explorer .... Or to Firefox.... Or to Safari.... Or to Chrome. Nope, if only people knew of the wonderful world of Opera. Why, they could go back to selling it instead of being forced to give it away!

Re:Obsolete (1)

pwizard2 (920421) | more than 5 years ago | (#28919433)

After all, anyone who cares is free to download any number of free browsers. When "free as in beer" is the default price of a web browser, how is MS giving theirs away anti-competitive?

Most people that still use IE probably do it because they don't know any better. Although IE has gotten a lot better with the past two releases (IE6 was a joke, as we all know) it still isn't fair when Microsoft is able to give their own browser preferential treatment over the others by having it be the only one installed out of the box. If Windows came with no built-in browser at all (but relied on some sort of wget system to retrieve and install a browser as part of the setup experience, with randomized placement each time to remove any sort of bias from the listing like others have suggested) that would help level the playing field.

Re:Obsolete (1)

bobidden (1100053) | more than 5 years ago | (#28919553)

According to a post on the official Digg blog [digg.com] about removing support for IE 6, most who use IE 6 cannot upgrade, as they are at work or don't have full control of their computer (ie no admin password). Only 23% of the people asked "Why are you still using IE 6" said that the preferred it / didn't see a need to upgrade.

Re:Obsolete (5, Insightful)

sammyF70 (1154563) | more than 5 years ago | (#28919477)

You assume most people actually KNOW there are free browsers (or even that they know what an "internet browser" is). That's sadly as far removed from reality as it can be.

Most people don't even know what Internet Explorer *IS*, for them, the IE icon means that they load up the internet (no... they don't connect. why would they connect? it's in .. aeh .. the thing under the table ... the harddrive!). If you tell them "you should use chrome, it's faster" or "you should use Firefox, it can do more stuff" or even "you should use anything but IE, as IE is a PoS" they'll look at you with big glassy eye and answer "but .. but ... I need Ze Internet!".

That's why having the ballot screen is a good thing : it tells the unknowing masses that there are alternatives. Now ... if we could have something similar for the bundled 30-days trials of MS Office and Norton ... (my wish would actually be that those wouldn't be bundled at all ... but that's probably completely unrealistic.)

Re:Obsolete (1)

Ardaen (1099611) | more than 5 years ago | (#28919783)

Argh, I accidentally modded this down instead of up. Stupid thing applies the moderation the second the drop down closes with no undo option other than removing ALL moderation you've put on the topic by posting. So lame. Very good point though, most people are clueless about browsers. Not everyone has the same area of interest or expertise.

Re:Obsolete (0, Offtopic)

Pop69 (700500) | more than 5 years ago | (#28919565)

You know, I was going to mod this as a troll but then I thought, where's the mod option for "totally fucking ignorant of the issues".

There isn't one for an obvious reason so I replied instead.

Wait (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28919327)

I'm guessing this is related to the monopoly thing.
What I never understood is, how come apple doesn't get into trouble for installing Safari on their comps? I use both OSX and Windows, so I'm not bashing either, just wondering how Microsoft's is a monopoly while Apple's isn't.

Also, they need to install a browser anyway. If you don't install a browser, then you can't get any browsers so I don't understand what was supposed to happen.

Last, how is it a monopoly when the product (ie) is non profit (afaik)?

Re:Wait (0, Redundant)

JCunningham (1486719) | more than 5 years ago | (#28919499)

Because you can remove safari from OS X if you choose to. Finder isnt based on Safari and it isnt a vital part of the system, whereas you can't uninstall IE since its part of Explorer and the whole system.

Re:Wait (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28919747)

The antitrust argument is that by only selling bundles of Windows and IE, Microsoft uses its monopoly position on operating systems to force computer manufacturers and their customers to pay for IE even if they'd rather use another browser. In the case of Apple there are no OEMs who would suffer, but the consumer market for browsers is similarly distorted. I guess the default position is that Apple does not have a monopoly position on desktop operating systems, allowing them to bundle whatever they want. Of course (unhacked) Apple operating systems remain incompatible with mainstream PC hardware, so a good lawyer would probably be able to argue that they have a monopoly on a more tightly defined market. At least in the EU antitrust authorities get involved only if a competitor complains, and I don't think any vendor of Mac browsers has complained.

Re:Wait (1, Troll)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 5 years ago | (#28919723)

Because Apple aren't a monopoly.

You're confusing things - it's not "Microsoft are a monopoly because they did this", it's "Microsoft are a monopoly, and they did this". Being a monopoly is about market share (well that's one definition - I'm not sure off hand what criteria the EU use, but the point is that Microsoft qualify, and Apple aren't even close).

Last, how is it a monopoly when the product (ie) is non profit (afaik)?

That's not really relevant, but anyway: Microsoft have a monopoly on operating systems, which they do sell.

FUCK FIREFOX! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28919329)

Re:FUCK FIREFOX! (1)

mariushm (1022195) | more than 5 years ago | (#28919385)

Kind of off topic but my Firefox has no issue with that page. Memory jumped from 248MB to about 265MB and went back to 251MB after, and as I type this it's down to 244MB.

Re:FUCK FIREFOX! (1)

halivar (535827) | more than 5 years ago | (#28919729)

Same here. Pwn fail.

Which is, in its own right, pwnage of a sort...

Re:FUCK FIREFOX! (1)

mR.bRiGhTsId3 (1196765) | more than 5 years ago | (#28919771)

I similarly have no issues with that page. 92 MB private for both this page and that page open. I think someone is confused or has been bitten by an odd bug.

Re:FUCK FIREFOX! (1)

lukas84 (912874) | more than 5 years ago | (#28919819)

Yeah, same here. Usually, Firefox sits between 200 - 300 MB of memory usage. Out of 6GB on my desktop or 4GB on my laptop, that seems okay.

Less work for them... (4, Interesting)

PrimaryConsult (1546585) | more than 5 years ago | (#28919347)

The logistics of separating out the IE browser from the rest of the OS must have been more daunting than anticipated. I do wish the "ballot screen" idea would be used in places outside the EU, as well...

Re:Less work for them... (2, Interesting)

jpmorgan (517966) | more than 5 years ago | (#28919787)

No, when they went to the EU and said 'we're going to ship a browser free version of Windows and let the OEMs install whatever they want' the EU said 'that's not good enough.' Because, see, if they did that the OEMs would just install IE and Firefox and be done with it. This isn't about getting Microsoft's claws off the browser business, it's about improving Opera's desktop market share, by hook or by crook.

What about... (4, Interesting)

s0litaire (1205168) | more than 5 years ago | (#28919363)

...All those that have pre-ordered Win7e or Win7n versions?

Are those orders canceled since the product no longer exists, or will they get the Full (non-upgrade) Win7 version instead?

Re:What about... (1)

wfWebber (715881) | more than 5 years ago | (#28919579)

All those that pre-ordered?

Dunno. Let's ask both of them whether they heard anything yet.

Re:What about... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28919697)

I haven't heard anything yet (and indeed, Amazon.co.uk is still showing the 'E' versions on its homepage). However, since Windows 7 E was supposed to be identical apart from the absence of Internet Explorer, I assume we'll just get the equivalent non-E version to whatever we ordered (Home, Pro or Ultimate; Upgrade or Full)

Re:What about... (2, Informative)

lukas84 (912874) | more than 5 years ago | (#28919835)

Correct, it's even on a variety of MS Blogs. Those who ordered the E versions get the _full_ version of the normal version.

Ballot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28919403)

Choosing a browser != voting.

Bill O'Reilly: Racist (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28919413)

In a previous letter, I stated that Bill O'Reilly's lackeys don't worry me because they're generally not in positions to make significant decisions (except maybe "right shoe on right foot"). That will be my position in this letter, as well. The key point of the following exposition is that I cannot promise not to be angry at O'Reilly. I do promise, however, to try to keep my anger under control, to keep it from leading meâ"as it leads O'Reillyâ"to fix blame for social stress, economic loss, or loss of political power on a target group whose constructed guilt provides a simplistic explanation.

If you will pardon me for mentioning it, O'Reilly wants all of us to believe that he is forward-looking, open-minded, and creative. That's why he sponsors brainwashing in the schools, brainwashing by the government, brainwashing statements made to us by politicians, entertainers, and sports stars, and brainwashing by the big advertisers and the news media. Is there, or is there not, a brazen, dishonest plot to threaten national security, organized through the years by jejune usurers? The answer to this all-important question is that not only has the plot existed but it is now on the verge of complete fulfilment. My intention here is not just to bring strength to our families, power to our nation, and health to our cities but also to take off the kid gloves and vent some real anger at him. Does O'Reilly do research before he reports things, or does he just guess and hope he's right? The reason I ask is that I have one itsy-bitsy problem with O'Reilly's biases. Videlicet, they introduce changes without testing them first. And that's saying nothing about how if you ever ask him to do something, you can bet that your request will get lost in the shuffle, unaddressed, ignored, and rebuffed.

O'Reilly proclaims at every opportunity that he'd never set up dissident groups and individuals for conspiracy charges and then carry out searches and seizures on flimsy pretexts. The gentleman doth protest too much, methinks. His fibs are a spiritually destructive propaganda instrument aimed at our children, and everyone with half a brain understands that. Animalism is the last refuge of the debauched. So don't feed me any phony baloney about how truth is whatever your grievance group says it is. That's just not true.

O'Reilly's words are geared toward the continuation of social stratification under the rubric of "tradition". Funny, that was the same term that his factotums once used to trivialize certain events that are particularly special to us all. One thing to keep in mind is that O'Reilly had previously claimed that he had no intention to form the association in the public's mind between any hatchet jobs he disagrees with and the ideas of hate and violence and illegality. Of course, shortly thereafter, that's exactly what he did. Next, he denied that he would demand that Earth submit to the dominion of rummy schnorrers. We all know what happened then. Now, O'Reilly would have us believe he'd never ever use metagrobolism as a more destructive form of pauperism. Will he? Go figure. My view is that O'Reilly once tried convincing me that if he kicks us in the teeth we'll then lick his toes and beg for another kick. Does he think I was born yesterday? I mean, it seems pretty obvious that for his own sake, O'Reilly should not dismantle national civil rights organizations by driving a wedge between the leaders and the rank-and-file membersâ"and O'Reilly knows it.

It is quite true, of course, that O'Reilly's perversions do not hold under close moral scrutiny. But you may be wondering why shambolic crackpots latch onto O'Reilly's schemes. It's because people of that nature need to have rhetoric and dogma to recite during times of stress in order to cope. That's also why in public, O'Reilly vehemently inveighs against corruption and sin. But when nobody's looking, O'Reilly never fails to dominate the whole earth and take possession of all its riches. All in all, his arguments are so full of holes that one cannot help but think that we should stop playing by his rules of engagement and instead force him to play by ours. Sadly, lack of space prevents me from elaborating further.

While O'Reilly's whinges may seem refractory, they're in agreement with O'Reilly's homicidal, vapid warnings. O'Reilly says that he needs a little more time to clean up his act. As far as I'm concerned, O'Reilly's time has run out.

Any meaningful analysis of the situation must allow for the fact that my general thesis is that every so often, O'Reilly tries leading to the destruction of the human race. Whenever he gets caught doing so he raises a terrific hullabaloo calculated to evoke a misdirected response to genuine unresolved grievances. I'll talk a lot more about that later, but first let me finish my general thesis: It's quite easy for him to declaim my proposals. But when is O'Reilly going to provide an alternative proposal of his own? Well, once you begin to see the light, you'll realize that if O'Reilly continues to excoriate attempts to bring questions of corporatism into the (essentially apolitical) realm of pedagogy in language and writing, crime will escalate as schools deteriorate, corruption increases, and quality of life plummets.

If O'Reilly is victorious in his quest to cater to the basest instincts of the most judgmental defalcators you'll ever see, then his crown will be the funeral wreath of humanity. I don't suppose he realizes which dialectic principle he's violating by maintaining that national-security interests can and should be sidestepped whenever his personal interests are at stake. Therefore, I shall take it upon myself to explain. O'Reilly is addicted to the feeling of power, to the idea of controlling people. Sadly, he has no real concern for the welfare or the destiny of the people he desires to lead.

We can divide O'Reilly's circulars into three categories: unreasonable, ostentatious, and jackbooted. If it is not yet clear that I have no idea why Bill O'Reilly wannabees have sprouted across the country like mushrooms after a downpour, then consider that the problem with him is not that he's fastidious. It's that he wants to do away with intellectual honesty. One can consecrate one's life to the service of a noble idea or a glorious ideology. O'Reilly, however, is more likely to lead us, lemminglike, over the precipice of self-destruction.

Not that I ever believed O'Reilly's lies, but at least before they had some kind of internal consistencyâ"a logic, albeit twisted, that invited refutation. But now, it seems he is desperately flailing about for any pretext, no matter how ludicrous or slight, to vandalize our neighborhoods. O'Reilly's zealots are merely ciphers. O'Reilly is the one who decides whether or not to change the course of history. O'Reilly is the one who gives out the orders to trample over the very freedoms and rights that he claims to support. And O'Reilly is the one trying to conceal how somebody has to take steps against the whole cranky, jaded brotherhood of virulent slaves to fashion. That somebody can be you. In any case, I don't need to do a lot of research to be confident in stating that O'Reilly operates on the basis of an unremitting hatred of civility and decency. (Note the heroic restraint stopping me from saying that I think this is tragic.) Comments on the above are welcome, but please think them out first.

Install IE to choose browser? (0, Redundant)

axllent (220868) | more than 5 years ago | (#28919441)

From the screenshot it looks like one has to have IE installed in order to choose which browser you want, as the choice is web based?! Does this still mean that while one "gets a choice", IE is still always installed?

How is this possible after RTM? (1)

Florian Weimer (88405) | more than 5 years ago | (#28919457)

Microsoft had announced that they had an RTM version, and now they make such a profound change. This is really odd. Is there any good explanation? Have they a separate, decoupled RTM process for the European versions? Has there never been a "Windows 7 E"?

And how much would it cost to get something adware-infested into the browser selection screen?

Re:How is this possible after RTM? (2, Interesting)

MathiasRav (1210872) | more than 5 years ago | (#28919715)

And how much would it cost to get something adware-infested into the browser selection screen?

Well, since the list is ordered by market share, you would probably have to get enough users to use your "browser" to get past Opera in terms of market share.

On second thought, that sounds very doable...

Re:How is this possible after RTM? (1)

jpmorgan (517966) | more than 5 years ago | (#28919827)

Well, Opera's market capitalization is $634M, so about $300M to buy a controlling stake. Then you could add all the malware to it you want and the EU'll make sure you're on the browser ballot.

Fuck Slashdot (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28919463)

Slashdot is nazism

Linux is facism
BSD is dead

Re:Fuck Slashdot (4, Funny)

colinrichardday (768814) | more than 5 years ago | (#28919869)

Linux is facism

Have you seen some of the kernel devs? They're definitely not facist.

In Germany... (2, Insightful)

antikristian (856519) | more than 5 years ago | (#28919501)

Will firefox get the prime position?

Oblig. (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#28919755)

In Soviet Russia, prime position gets YOU!!!

missing option (0, Flamebait)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 5 years ago | (#28919511)

[x] Remove Windows7 and install Linux

[ ] Remove Windows7 and install FreeBSD

Re:missing option (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28919611)

More like [x] Remove Windows 7 and cripple your computer.

But! DRM? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28919725)

More like [x] Don't Remove Windows 7 and cripple your computer.

ftfy?

Re:missing option (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28919769)

[x] Remove Windows 7 and install an OS that forces all my programs to close when the god damn fucking X server crashes or requires a reboot after locking up.

Re:missing option (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28919801)

HAHAHAHAHAHA LOL FUCK HAHAHA LMAO FUCK

TRUE COMEDIAN HERE, FOLKS!

Why are you wasting time on /.? You should have your own program!!!!!!!!1111!!eleven!!!

Re:missing option (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28919821)

Sorry. I can't do that. I'm heterosexual.

Linux is for faggots.

What is safari doing there? (4, Interesting)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 5 years ago | (#28919597)

Well Apple's little update-jacking fiasco seems to have paid off. The screenshot [microsoftontheissues.com] shows that Safari is the third most popular Windows browser, in front of Chrome and Opera. I don't have any problem with Safari (fast, small, standards compliant) but I wonder if this is all an Apple plan... and they seriously need to just use Windows widgets and styles instead of imposing their Cocoa look on the windows environment..

Re:What is safari doing there? (1)

theurge14 (820596) | more than 5 years ago | (#28919639)

Have you used Safari for Windows lately?

Re:What is safari doing there? (4, Interesting)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 5 years ago | (#28919767)

I would, but every time I run it and select to update my copy, it wants to download Bonjour, iTunes, and QuickTime for me. Since I don't want that shit on my system, I forcefully close the process from task manager.

Re:What is safari doing there? (1)

jpmorgan (517966) | more than 5 years ago | (#28919851)

Safari does have a substantial amount of usage, but I would presume the vast majority of that comes from Mac users. I don't actually know of anybody who uses Safari on Windows as their regular browser. But the rule the EU wants them to implement isn't 'marketshare on Windows,' it's top 5 overall marketshare.

Hrm... (2)

yoshi_mon (172895) | more than 5 years ago | (#28919613)

I can't see the MS blog page, it's /.ed, but from the summary I felt that this solution seems to imply that browsers are mutually exclusive?

I'd hope that MS would not even go that far but you can never rule anything out with them.

How will it work? (1)

praseodym (813457) | more than 5 years ago | (#28919701)

How will the ballot screen work? Will it redirect to the chosen browser maker's website, will it download an installer? If so, that'd be way too much work for 'simple' users and they'll just close the ballot screen leaving IE as the default browser.

Also, I can't help thinking that there must be a prettier way to make this ballot screen (outside of IE, preferably!).

Re:How will it work? (2, Interesting)

lukas84 (912874) | more than 5 years ago | (#28919847)

Given the fact that you'd need to understand what a "web browser" is before being able to make a decent choice here, that behaviour is acceptable. IE8 is decent enough, gets updated automatically and should be a good choice for all those that don't understand what a browser is.

Those that do shouldn't have the slightest problem installing an application.

It doesn't matter (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28919843)

It doesn't matter which browser is installed from the install disk. Most users don't install from the install disk anyway. What matters is which browsers the OEMs will put on the machine, and which they will make the default. Even if Microsoft made an IE-free version of windows Dell and HP and everyone else would still install IE on the machines before selling it to customers.
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