TapWindows without IE

There is some talk around about Microsoft issuing a special version of Windows 7 for EU countries which doesn’t have Internet Explorer bundled in.

In some senses, this is good news; it exposes the lie that Internet Explorer cannot be removed from Windows because its use is deeply embedded into the operating system. It also means that Windows Update will have to be able to work with alternative browsers (or another mechanism altogether); something it can’t do at the moment.

On the other hand, I don’t see why they need to ship without it at all. Potentially the machines become useless for the average consumer who can’t access the web even to download a browser to access the web! There are suggestions that Microsoft are just posturing.

Apple ships machines with Safari which is a very similar situation so I don’t see why Windows shouldn’t ship with IE—so long as it is possible to remove it if people don’t want it. In practice, I don’t remove Safari, I just don’t use it except for cross browser code checks, and it would be the same with IE; but it would be nice to know that I could. A similar situation should exist for Media Player/iTunes verses competitors.

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