Feeds

Microsoft ditches Windows 7 E plans

Does IE hokey-cokey as Brussels keeps schtum

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Microsoft has dumped the Internet Explorer-free version of Windows 7 that it had planned to release to the European market in the hope of appeasing antitrust regulators.

The company confirmed on Friday that after receiving nothing more than a shrug of the shoulders from the European Commission, following Microsoft’s offer to punt Windows 7 E to consumers, it has now ditched those plans.

Instead Microsoft will rely on users to make their decision about which browser they want to run on the firm’s Vista successor by using a ballot screen.

However, Redmond has made this move without the consent of the EC, whose investigations into the software vendor’s business practices rumble on.

“In the wake of last week’s developments [ballot screen proposal], 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,” wrote MS veep and deputy general counsel Dave Heiner in a blog post late on Friday.

Microsoft's proposed Windows browser ballot screen

Confusingly for consumers, Microsoft might yet make another U-turn on its latest decision regarding the fate of Internet Explorer on Windows 7-based computers shipped in Europe.

“We’ve been open both with the Commission and with our customers and partners that if the ballot screen proposal is not accepted for some reason, then we will have to consider alternative paths, including the reintroduction of a Windows 7 E version in Europe,” said Heiner.

All of which strikes us as odd, given that the executive arm of Brussels has already expressed dissatisfaction with Microsoft over its Windows 7 E game play.

In June the EC declared, “consumers should be offered a choice of browser, not that Windows should be supplied without a browser at all.”

As things currently stand, Microsoft plans to update Windows 7 PCs “shortly after” they have been set up by the user. A “consumer ballot software program” will be sent over the interwebs to the user who will be presented with a list of other browsers that can be installed on the PC as an alternative to IE.

Redmond is keen to get the EC to adopt this method, so much so that if Brussels approves the latest proposal it will additionally update Windows XP and Windows Vista machines throughout Europe with the consumer ballot screen.

The EC “indicated... it welcomed Microsoft’s formal proposal of the consumer ballot approach, as well as the obligations we are prepared to assume to promote interoperability,” said MS.

The Register asked the EC to comment on Microsoft's latest statement regarding scrapping Windows 7 E.

"We have nothing to add to our MEMO from 24/7," said a spokeswoman at the Commission. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux
Multiple desktops and live tiles in restored Start button star in new vids
iOS 8 release: WebGL now runs everywhere. Hurrah for 3D graphics!
HTML 5's pretty neat ... when your browser supports it
Mathematica hits the Web
Wolfram embraces the cloud, promies private cloud cut of its number-cruncher
Google extends app refund window to two hours
You now have 120 minutes to finish that game instead of 15
Intel: Hey, enterprises, drop everything and DO HADOOP
Big Data analytics projected to run on more servers than any other app
Mozilla shutters Labs, tells nobody it's been dead for five months
Staffer's blog reveals all as projects languish on GitHub
SUSE Linux owner Attachmate gobbled by Micro Focus for $2.3bn
Merger will lead to mainframe and COBOL powerhouse
iOS 8 Healthkit gets a bug SO Apple KILLS it. That's real healthcare!
Not fit for purpose on day of launch, says Cupertino
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.