Software giant Microsoft has had disturbed relations with the EU markets following series of lawsuits to penalise the company's alleged anti-competitive market practices. Abiding by the courts' judgments, Microsoft will release two special types of its upcoming Windows 7 operating system to sell in Euro-zone countries. The OS will be devoid of Microsoft's Internet Explorer 8 (MSIE 8) web-browser, and Windows Media Player (WMP) 12 multimedia software. The first type is Windows 7 E, which lacks MSIE 8 alone. The second is Windows 7 N, which lacks MSIE 8 and WMP 12. The standard type which includes both, will not be available in Euro-zone countries. These types maintain their variant hierarchy (with the lineup starting from Home Basic to Ultimate).
Furthermore, the copies of Windows 7 (E, N) will require a clean installation. Users will not be able to upgrade their existing Windows Vista installations with such types of Windows 7. This however, won't affect the standard version. The move puts users in a bit of inconvenience, since the OS will not remain web-capable as soon as it's installed. In an effort to make things as easy as possible for users, Microsoft is recommending OEM vendors to pre-install MSIE 8, or any web-browser they choose. MSIE 8 will be available as CD-ROM installation media at stores. It will also be available for users to download using FTP, so a web-browser could be downloaded and installed without the presence of another one. "We're committed to making Windows 7 available in Europe at the same time that it launches in the rest of the world, but we also must comply with European competition law as we launch the product," said Microsoft deputy general counsel Dave Heiner said in a written release. "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. We're committed to launching Windows 7 on time in Europe, so we need to address the legal realities in Europe, including the risk of large fines. We believe that this new approach, while not our first choice, is the best path forward given the ongoing legal case in Europe," he added.