Before I start this post I would like to prefix by saying this is not a rant against Microsoft, there will be no Apple Fanboyism coming through this, instead this is a rant in Microsoft's favour against the EU.
In October the next release of Windows will be released, named Seven it will essentially fix all the problems of Vista as well as adding a whole load of new features which will make the thing very shiny. I won't go into that now, however all the people that I know who are using the release candidate say that it is a solid release and works well. I tried the beta and got on with it.
Now for a while Microsoft and the European Union have been in discussion over Windows shipping with a browser built in. The simple argument is that because Internet Explorer ships with windows other browsers such as FireFox, Opera, Chrome and Safari don't get a look in on Windows. So Microsoft has bowed to pressure and has removed Internet Explorer from the European releases of Seven.
So this means that by default Windows Seven will not be able to access the internet without first installing a browser... so where you get a browser from... why you download one from the internet... see the problem? Amazon's handy suggestion says that you should:
On your current computer prior to installing Windows 7, or on another computer system, download the install file (usually a â€œ.exe" file) for your preferred Windows 7-compatible browser to your current system. Burn this file to a CD or DVD or transfer it to an external storage medium such as a flash memory drive or external hard drive.
That is fair enough, however what if you don't currently own a computer, or you previous computer died... or even better what happens if you are my mother who doesn't even know what a browser is? (I have long given up trying to teach her). By removing Internet Explorer from Seven a lot of people are going to be cut off from the internet simply because they don't have a browser to use.
As web designer, and as much as I hate Internet Explorer, I would rather people being able to access the internet through IE rather than not viewing the internet at all... I think that it all seems a little bit silly! And then at the end of the day... the EU is unhappy about it all because Microsoft has offered less choice than more!
One of the possible solutions that was put forward was that Microsoft bundle a couple of other browsers into Seven. I think that would of been a ridiculous idea, after Microsoft is a software company primarily and to force them to bundle competitors products on the grounds of fair competition would be like telling Burger King to sell Big Macs... Also where would you stop, if you got Microsoft to ship with other browsers, why not other media players, other versions of Paint or Notepad!
While I'm on the subject of this... this ruling by the EU seems to be really unfair to Microsoft simply because, and again I hate to say this, they have been successful. It is punishing them simply because they have done well. Why is the EU not forcing Apple into this with their Snow Leopard release? That ships as default with Safari... and then why stop there? What about the iPhone, the only browser that Apple allow to be made for that device is a version of Safari, and you can't say that the iPhone isn't popular!
This decision just seems to me to be down right silly, with some idiot in the EU going a step a too far... and lets face it, at the end of the day people will only go and download Internet Explorer again!