Advertising

The Seattle Times Company

NWjobs | NWautos | NWhomes | NWsource | Free Classifieds | seattletimes.com

Business / Technology


Our network sites seattletimes.com | Advanced

Originally published June 12, 2009 at 12:00 AM | Page modified June 12, 2009 at 10:54 AM

Comments (0)     E-mail E-mail article      Print Print      Share Share

Microsoft removes Internet Explorer from European Windows 7

To comply with the European Union's antitrust laws, Microsoft announced it will ship Windows 7 without the company's browser Internet Explorer.

Seattle Times technology reporter

To deal with the European Union's antitrust laws, Microsoft plans to ship Windows 7 in Europe without the company's Internet Explorer Web browser.

The move comes in response to a complaint filed in 2007 with the European Commission by Opera, the Oslo, Norway-based browser developer. Opera claimed that Microsoft illegally bundled Internet Explorer with the Windows operating system.

That case is pending and a decision could come soon. The commission, the executive branch of the European Union, issued a preliminary ruling in January that Microsoft had violated European competition law by including Internet Explorer in Windows since 1996.

"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," said Dave Heiner, Microsoft's vice president and deputy general counsel, in a statement posted on a company blog on legal issues.

Internet Explorer rivals in the browser market include Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari and Google Chrome, as well as Opera. While Microsoft continues to dominate 65.5 percent of the market, according to a Net Applications May report, its share has eroded over time with the growing popularity of Firefox. In 2004, Microsoft had 90 percent of the browser market.

Windows 7 will come with Internet Explorer 8 on PCs sold outside of Europe.

Microsoft has said Windows 7 will be available in stores on Oct. 22. To make sure it's available on computers for sale, the company expects to ship final copies of the operating system to computer makers by the end of July.

On Thursday, Heiner said in the company's statement that Microsoft stripped the operating system of any browser to make sure it would ship on time.

The European Commission has suggested that Windows 7 include browsers made by Microsoft's competitors, or offer users a choice.

Michael Cherry, an analyst at Directions on Microsoft, an independent-analyst firm in Kirkland, said going without a browser was probably the simplest way to comply with European antitrust rules and make the shipping deadline.

"If you're going to include every other browser manufactured, you would have to collect versions of those browsers and get them into the product," Cherry said. "By the time you ship you could be shipping something out of date."

In May, Microsoft canceled a presentation of its defense scheduled for June 3-5, citing a conflict with an antitrust conference scheduled in Switzerland at the same time.

The European Commission said Thursday it would issue a ruling shortly, according to a report from Bloomberg.

Sharon Pian Chan: 206-464-2958 or schan@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company

More Business & Technology headlines...

E-mail E-mail article      Print Print      Share Share

Comments
No comments have been posted to this article.

advertising


Get home delivery today!

More Business & Technology

UPDATE - 09:46 AM
Exxon Mobil wins ruling in Alaska oil spill case

UPDATE - 09:32 AM
Bank stocks push indexes higher; oil prices dip

UPDATE - 08:04 AM
Ford CEO Mulally gets $56.5M in stock award

UPDATE - 07:54 AM
Underwater mortgages rise as home prices fall

NEW - 09:43 AM
Warner Bros. to offer movie rentals on Facebook

Advertising

Video

Marketplace

Advertising