Microsoft strips Internet Explorer from European version of forthcoming operating system

Windows 7 to ship without IE

Computing giant Microsoft has removed web browser Internet Explorer from a European version of forthcoming operating system Windows 7.

The move is in response to anti-trust allegations from the European Union, which claims Microsoft would be unfairly pushing out the competition by bundling its own web browser with the OS.

The firm has publicly confirmed that it would ship a version without IE pre-loaded, after CNET published a ‘confidential memo’ stating as much:

"To ensure that Microsoft is in compliance with European law, Microsoft will be releasing a separate version of Windows 7 for distribution in Europe that will not include Windows Internet Explorer. Microsoft will offer IE8 separately and free of charge and will make it easy and convenient for PC manufacturers to preinstall IE 8 on Windows 7 machines in Europe if they so choose. PC manufacturers may choose to install an alternative browser instead of IE 8, and has always been the case, they may install multiple browsers if they wish."

Microsoft has been in more or less constant trouble with the EU courts in recent years, over various cases relating to fair trading practises and allegedly anti-competitive behaviour.

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