Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Windows without IE

Recently due to the EU's ruling, Microsoft is finally separating IE from Windows, and may offer a version of Windows without IE for Europe. Yes... It's only for Europe, but I believe they will not offer a different version. My guess is that the Windows 7 will come with IE8 for the rest of the world, but you can uninstall it if you wish to. Knowing the patch Tuesday track record, it will be a nightmare for Microsoft to create another version for Europe.

However, I see a chicken and egg problem. How do you access the internet to download your favorite browser, without a browser? It's impossible, so as long as you have Windows, you will get to use Internet Explorer at least once. There's no running away from that.

I find that the EU ruling is focussing on the wrong area. The correct area that they should focus on is whether Microsoft has through any licencing agreements, prevent OEM manufacturers from providing other browsers in their machines.

If the answer is no, then the problem is actually not with Microsoft, but with the other browser vendors who did not negotiate with the OEM manufacturers to include their browsers in the machine setup. Granted that the OEM manufacturers will ask for some kind of concession, but that's life. If you want your product to reach people, be prepared to pay for it.

I think this ruling though will have an indirect effect. It serves as a message to the OEM manufacturers that since Windows 7 can exist without IE, you're free to install any browser you wish on Windows.

I just hope they got the message.

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