To deal with European Union’s antitrust concerns, Microsoft said Thursday it would ship Windows 7 in Europe without its Web browser Internet Explorer. Today, the European Union released a statement saying Microsoft is offering less choice, not more.
In its statement, the European Union said:
“… the Commission has suggested that consumers should be offered a choice of browser, not that Windows should be supplied without a browser at all.”
The comments are pointed at retail copies of Windows 7 that are sold separately from new PCs:
“As for retail sales, which amount to less than 5% of total sales, the Commission had suggested to Microsoft that consumers be provided with a choice of web browsers. Instead Microsoft has apparently decided to supply retail consumers with a version of Windows without a web browser at all. Rather than more choice, Microsoft seems to have chosen to provide less.”
The European Union appeared more positive about removing the browser from copies of Windows 7 that computer makers install on new PCs:
“As for sales to computer manufacturers, Microsoft’s proposal may potentially be more positive. It is noted that computer manufacturers would appear to be able to choose to install Internet Explorer — which Microsoft will supply free of charge — another browser or multiple browsers.”
Here is our story today on Microsoft’s move to sell Windows 7 in Europe without the browser. The European Union is expected to rule on whether Microsoft’s tying of Internet Explorer to Windows since 1996 is anticompetitive.