When Microsoft announce that Windows 7 will not be shipped with IE in Europe, quite frankly, I do not know how to interpret this move. Microsoft finally bowing to EC without fighting to the bitter end? Microsoft acknowledging EC has a case against it on IE? or another tactic Microsoft is using to fight EC? I think we know the answer now, it is the last option on the list.
What we have today is Microsoft announcing that “EC is stopping it from permitting user to upgrade from Vista to Windows 7 because of IE“. Quite frankly, I cannot see EC doing this. EC is know to be in favour of wanting alternative web browser to be delivered alongside IE in windows. It did not ask Microsoft to strip IE completely from Windows. If it does, this act will probably be thrown back by the EC’s own court of appeal. It is Microsoft who choose to strip IE instead of having rival web browser installed for EU bound Windows 7. And since a copy of EU-bound Windows 7 is going to be in store soon, I cannot see how an upgrade from Vista cannot be performed via this copy of Windows, unless of course Microsoft doesn’t want you to.
What I see is Microsoft trying to get PC makers to set pressure on EC in its favour in its war with it over IE. PC makers will be hurted by this no-upgrade decision. However, let’s make it clear: Microsoft has the ability and resources and given EC’s coverage, the incentive and market size consideration, to remaster any upgrade disk to remove IE if need be. It choose not to. If PC makers are hurted, then it is Microsoft they should be blaming.
I don’t think Microsoft is hoping that when you and I go into store asking for Vista to Windows 7 upgrade, the shopkeeper will tell you and I that “EC stop Microsoft from selling you an upgrade”. Why? Most sales assistants are stock pusher, they don’t care about the politics behind it.
Perhaps you Vista cloud is so small that Microsoft is willing to use you as a pawn in its war against EC. In any case, I hope this decision of Microsoft comes back to hurt it with people going onto alternative operating systems instead of Windows.