Software giant Microsoft has caved in to demands of European Union regulators who wanted the company to sever the Internet Explorer browser from Windows, Microsoft's Operating system.
The Europeans have managed to achieve what the US regulators had once asked for, a request which was categorically refused by Microsoft. Back in 1998, Microsoft told the Department of Justice that separating Internet Explorer from Windows 95 was impossible.
The new version, called Windows 7 E (for Europe) will come with no browser. This would eventually pose a new challenge; how are you going to install Firefox or even access the web without a browser in the first place.
With cover mounted DVDs and CDs disappearing fast and computers such as Netbooks shipped without any optical drives, it will be tricky to get a browser working on your computer.
The European Commission had also coerced Microsoft into selling a version of Windows without its Media Player component which proved to be a commercial flop as both versions did sell for the same price.
A statement issued today by Microsoft said that "Microsoft filed its response to the Commission's Statement of Objections in April. We believe we made a strong showing that including Internet Explorer in Windows is lawful so that no remedy is needed. We hope that the Commission will ultimately agree with us."
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Manufacturers may choose to install alternative browsers like Opera and Firefox as part of the default setup while shrink wrapped Windows 7 edition may come with a free USB flash drive or a free CDROM containing some of the latest browsers. Microsoft has been stung with a 899 million Euros fine in February 2008 by the European Commission for anti competitive behaviour.
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