Microsoft to stop forcing Internet Explorer down users’ throats

Posted on July 30, 2009

 

ie_logoAs someone who had to buy a new laptop recently, one of the worst aspects of a new computer is having to re-install all of your own software. You need to find all of your own discs, the serial numbers and download all of the programs that you need before you can start working. It can take the best part of a day to do all of that.

Then of course you’ve got the problem of Microsoft insisting that you use Internet Explorer as your default browser, unless you tell it otherwise. This has been a bone of contention for years as Microsoft has included IE in its various bug ridden guises over the years, refusing to bundle other, better, browsers with the Windows OS such as Netscape, Mozilla, Firefox and now Google Chrome.

Things are about to change though as the powers that be at Microsoft have finally relented and will allow other browsers to be included with the new Windows 7, which goes on sale later this year.

During the install of the new Windows 7 users will be offered a choice of which browser they want to install, rather than being forced to use the dreaded IE.

Microsoft did intend to sell Windows 7 in Europe without any browsers, including Internet Explorer, but that idea was criticised by the European Union and by the makers of the other browsers, who believe that should Windows be shipped without a browser, consumers would have even less choice.

The European Commission stated:

The proposal recognises the principle that consumers should be given a free and effective choice of web browser, and sets out a means – the ballot screen – by which Microsoft believes that can be achieved.

Microsoft’s Brad Smith added:

We currently are providing PC manufacturers in Europe with E versions of Windows 7, which we believe are fully compliant with European law. PC manufacturers building machines for the European market will continue to be required to ship E versions of Windows 7 until such time that the Commission fully reviews our [internet browser] proposals and determines whether they satisfy our obligations under European law.

Sadly, IE will still need to be downloaded by web developers and designers so that they can determine its ‘flaws’ and ‘unique’ ways of interpreting CSS.

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