Mozilla

Windows 7 Without IE

June 12th, 2009

Yesterday Microsoft announced that it is planning to ship Windows 7 without IE in Europe, and to offer IE separately.

It’s impossible to evaluate what this means until Microsoft describes — completely and with specificity — all the incentives and disincentives applicable to Windows OEMs. Without this it’s impossible to tell if Microsoft is giving something with one hand and taking it away with the other. For example, if Windows marketing dollars are tied to IE or browser-based programs, then the ties to Windows are still distorting the browser market. One could think of many other examples.

As a result it’s also impossible to tell whether this does anything more than change the technical installation process of the OEMs. It will certainly make life more difficult for people upgrading to Windows 7.

mitchell

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22 comments for “Windows 7 Without IE”

  1. 1

    d said on June 12th, 2009 at 2:38 pm:

    Windows 7 should come with at least one web browser. If it comes with none, people will be reluctant to upgrade.

  2. 2

    Asgaro said on June 12th, 2009 at 3:09 pm:

    “It will certainly make life more difficult for people upgrading to Windows 7.”

    Than what do you guys want?!!
    I’ve been using Firefox since v1.5 and never touch IE, but I think there are limits…

    I mean: the Mozilla foundation and the European Union want Windows to show a window on installation suggesting several browsers.
    I think this is going too far, even considering the current position of IE in Windows Vista and earlier. Then, they should also sue Apple for their position with Safari! (Not considering Safari’s rather small market position because that totally irrelevant)

    And where would this all end? Shouldn’t the calculator, etc also be removed than?

    Cheers from an annoyed Firefox enthusiast…

  3. 3

    John said on June 12th, 2009 at 3:21 pm:

    “For example, if Windows marketing dollars are tied to IE or browser-based programs, then the ties to Windows are still distorting the browser market. ”

    I believe this is already restricted and monitored by the US DOJ under the consent decree.

  4. 4

    dl said on June 12th, 2009 at 3:26 pm:

    Mitchell as the second post displays…you guys don’t want to “own” this. IMHO – stay quiet and win because you are the best option…whether the Explorer gets pushed down hardware/software throats or not (cuz watch Xbox and (not to sound like a broken record) their interactive stories+Bing and what platform that takes in the next few with the television and the couch and surfing…and advertising)…

    Just do what you guys do… but (and Lilly) don’t let your team get loudly opinionated, lazy in open mindedness or arrogant … as a guy who watched his father work all his life for Dr. Land at Polaroid…and watched an innovative company become all those things… and fail. Smart humility, passion for open-minded ideas, and quiet-out-of-the-spotlight work is what got them and you the wins…

  5. 5

    Mitchell Baker said on June 12th, 2009 at 3:30 pm:

    Asgaro: Mozilla did not bring the suit in the EC. It is a mistake to treat Mozilla and the EC as the same. As to what the question of Mozilla view on remedies, please see the previous post EC Synthesis.

    John: I’m not sure on two counts: whether the DOJ ruling has an impact in Europe, and whether it prevents all incentives.

  6. 6

    DigDug said on June 12th, 2009 at 3:50 pm:

    This is sad. A great version of the most frequently used modern OS releasing without an implementation of the APIs that Mozilla, KDE and hundreds of other open source software groups have been pushing to become the one single API to rule all operating systems. HTML is the only API I know of out there that has any hope right now of removing platform dependency. And now Windows users have to jump through hoops to use it, single handedly destroying the whole thing.

  7. 7

    Daniel said on June 12th, 2009 at 9:21 pm:

    Well I haven`t tried Internet Explorer 8 yet, but it seems to be a good browser (although when it comes to standard compliance it still sucks). However I am a hardcore Firefox fan (cause of customization and the security offered by Open Source).

    In my opinion there is no need to remove IE from Windows cause it is no longer an issue of monopoly: Nowadays users are becoming more aware of software competition. In fact Firefox` s market share is increasing and hopefully some day the world`s best browser will rule!

  8. 8

    David Naylor said on June 12th, 2009 at 11:53 pm:

    Asgaro said: “Then, they should also sue Apple for their position with Safari! (Not considering Safari’s rather small market position because that totally irrelevant)”

    You are right and wrong. Safari’s market share is irrelevant. Apple OS X’s market share is not irrelevant.

    People seem to miss this very important fact: Microsoft Windows has a virtual monopoly in the OS market. That fact means that other rules apply to Windows than to the other operating systems.

    A company that has a monopoly in one market is not allowed to use that position to skew competition and force itself into another market. The EC consideres the OS market and the browser market separate. Hence, Microsoft is not allowed to use Windows to gain advantage in the browser market. This applies in the US too, only the US regulators were too measly to do anything about it.

    Apple OS X and Linux can bundle whatever software they want, because they have no monopoly to misuse.

  9. 9

    Pingback from Windows 7 – ללא אקספלורר « הבלוג של לי-נוי

    [...] http://blog.lizardwrangler.com/2009/06/12/windows-7-without-ie/ [...]

  10. 10

    Tommy said on June 13th, 2009 at 2:26 am:

    Wow that’s weird.

  11. 11

    Marc Hartsuiker said on June 13th, 2009 at 2:27 am:

    What irks me a bit is that all the suing companies seem to state that Microsoft has an unfair market share because it is hard to install other browsers. Now I for one never had any problems installing Firefox, Opera or Safari under Windows XP/Vista/7. So I don’t understand their reasoning. To me it seems the main problem with browsers, like Opera, having a small marketshare has more to do with marketing then with it being difficult to install another browser under Windows. Personally I think that people simply keep using IE because they are unaware of other browsers or to lazy to switch. You cannot fix the second problem but you can change the attitude of people towards other browsers by advertising the fact they exist and the benefits they hold.

  12. 12

    Tommy said on June 13th, 2009 at 2:28 am:

    I wonder why they would do that.

  13. 13

    Johan Klein said on June 14th, 2009 at 7:06 am:

    I don’t know if I am alone. I use Firefox as my primary browser, but after seeing these bizarre actions by the EU, I have a growing distaste for using Firefox products.

    Why doesn’t the EU get involved in Apple and their browser push – every update of iTunes tries to push Safari? iPhone can’t even install a new browser? Firefox has Google preset has search default rather than offering a menu forcing the user to choose at start-up?

  14. 14

    Kurt said on June 14th, 2009 at 7:15 am:

    @Johan – Feel the same way. The only thing preventing me from moving to Chrome is their lack of plugins. I have developed a strong distaste for Firefox and Opera.

  15. 15

    Orrin said on June 15th, 2009 at 6:15 am:

    I suppose, just because the OS won’t include IE doesn’t mean the OEM wouldn’t provide a browser like Firefox or Opera themselves.. but if an OEM doesn’t provide a browser at all, and the OS doesn’t include one.. how will people with said OS download Firefox?

  16. 16

    Mitchell Baker said on June 15th, 2009 at 7:35 am:

    Orrin:

    OEMs typically sell space on a machine. So they generally get paid to put software on the machine. It’s a business model for them. It’s really hard to imagine them not doing this with a browser. No disagreement though that shipping without a browser would be very awkward for consumers. I haven’t heard anyone, including the EC suggest this is the preferred remedy.

    As to Firefox, I’ll repeat that this isn’t a Mozilla initiated activity. We learned of Opera’s complaint and the EC’s Statement of Objections in the news like everyone else. We want to see as good a remedy as possible, that’s the centerpiece of our involvement.

  17. 17

    DblU said on June 15th, 2009 at 7:40 am:

    Let me correct a little bit this issue. There WILL be IE in the installation process, it will just not be installed by default, but user will be given choice: install, or let it be not installed. I’d be happy if will be this way. For me it is a great thing since I don’t like to have installed programs which I don’t use. It would be definitely worst scenario if there will be more than one browser in the Windows installation. The less programs in basic installation, the better. Let the user choose, what he wants to have installed and what not. Let the operating system be againt “Operatin System”, not just “operating system with bunch of bloatware”. I know, it is hard to say, what is essential part of operating system today, but I would definitely say that the web browser is not. So isn’t media player, instant messenger, application for creating movies or other things. I generally don’t mind if someone puts other applications in his OS, but I hate them being unable to uninstall.

  18. 18

    Pingback from Microsoft’s Browser Move to Make Windows Even More Annoying | John Paczkowski | Digital Daily | AllThingsD

    [...] and with specificity — all the incentives and disincentives applicable to Windows OEMs,” she wrote in a blog post. “Without this it’s impossible to tell if Microsoft is giving something with one hand and [...]

  19. 19

    Pingback from Tech Whiz Underground » Microsoft’s Browser Move to Make Windows Even More Annoying

    [...] and with specificity–all the incentives and disincentives applicable to Windows OEMs,” she wrote in a blog post. “Without this it’s impossible to tell if Microsoft is giving something with one hand and [...]

  20. 20

    Kurt said on June 15th, 2009 at 8:25 am:

    Mitchell, I think you should write a post (another?) explaining Mozilla’s position in this. Peopel seem to think Mozilla was part of the suit filed with the EU and do not understand that Mozilla basically acted as an expert witness and not the plaintiff.

  21. 21

    Pingback from Microsoft’s Browser Move to Make Windows Even More Annoying | Blogging Planet

    [...] Mitchell Baker, Chair of the Mozilla Foundation, took a similarly dim view of Microsoft’s (MSFT) plans for European versions of Windows, questioning the company’s motives and wondering if it might not intend to somehow give PC makers an incentive to bundle IE back into Windows at the OEM level. “It’s impossible to evaluate what this means until Microsoft describes–completely and with specificity–all the incentives and disincentives applicable to Windows OEMs,” she wrote in a blog post. [...]

  22. 22

    raiph mellor said on June 20th, 2009 at 5:10 pm:

    I urge Mozilla and/or SFX to seriously consider treating Windows 7 E as a major short term opportunity; and, separately, as the initial shot of a major new long term attack by Microsoft.

    More at http://www.spreadfirefox.com/node/4283#comment-8661

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