Microsoft has created a guidance page on the Windows 7 part of their website, detailing how users should go about installing a browser on Windows 7 E – the version of Windows that will ship in the UK, that comes without a browser.
Users will be required to install an internet browser from external media, such as a USB pen drive or CD, as there will be no way of browsing the web without one otherwise.
Due to the EU pushing on with its anti-trust case against Microsoft, users buying Windows 7 E will have to find their own browser to use. Whilst users could of course just download their browser of choice, and save it on a pen drive, Microsoft has made Internet Explorer 8 available for order, on disk. The disk costs Â£3.44, excluding VAT. For many users, this will not be necessary, but Amazon.de is offering the Internet Explorer 8 disk as an extra anyway, for €3.99. Firefox is also available to order, from the Mozilla Store.
Windows N will be the same as Windows 7 E, but without a media player installed by default. Whilst some oppose the decision made by Microsoft (as a response to the EU anti-trust case), others believe it will offer other browsers a chance, such as Firefox and Opera. However, how well this will go down with those who buy Windows 7 E remains to be seen.
Whether or not browsers can be bundled in by computer manufacturers isn't stated on the site, but as it states that media players can be bundled, then it is assumed so. However, for system builders and everyone else, there will be no "browser selection" upon finishing installation, as some speculated. Instead, users will have to go back to basics, and find something to store it on, or, alternatively, order a browser on a disk.