Antitrust concerns have led Microsoft to announce that when it ships Windows 7 later this year, the European version will come without Internet Explorer bundled inside, leaving users free to choose their own browser.
In a blog post, Dave Heiner, Microsoft’s deputy general counsel, wrote:
"We’re committed to making Windows 7 available in Europe at the same time that it launches in the rest of the world, but we also must comply with European competition law as we launch the product."
"Given the pending legal proceeding, we’ve decided that instead of including Internet Explorer in Windows 7 in Europe, we will offer it separately and on an easy-to-install basis to both computer manufacturers and users. This means that computer manufacturers and users will be free to install Internet Explorer on Windows 7, or not, as they prefer. Of course, they will also be free, as they are today, to install other Web browsers."
The European Commission has hit Microsoft with over $1 billion in antitrust fines, and has said that bundling IE with Windows stifles competition and violates antitrust laws.
Versions in the OS that include the browser will have E added to the title.