Windows 7 in Europe: no upgrades, no IE, up to 2X the price

According to Computer World, things are not looking good for European fans of Windows 7 and Internet Explorer. Microsoft has decided to remove Internet Explorer from versions of Windows 7 to be sold in Europe, the company is not offering an upgrade path from Vista. Also, although international exchange rates vary, the prices of Windows 7 do not look good for people paying in euros or pounds.

In an effort to quell EU concerns over anti-trust issues, Microsoft preemptively removed Internet Explorer from Windows 7. Many have speculated as to why the company made this move. Some have suggested that the ploy was inspired by the company's earlier EU-agreed removal of Windows Media Player from the so-called "N" versions of Windows Vista. However, in that case, Microsoft's concession (offering the "N" versions of Vista) did nothing to harm their bottom line or to increase competition in media players. OEMs simply demanded the non-"N" versions of Vista, and the "N" versions became a minute fraction of copies sold.

This time Microsoft is going for broke by removing Internet Explorer from all versions of Windows 7 to be sold in Europe. OEMs in this case may choose to include it, however, in their Windows machines, just as they add so-called "crap-ware", "crippleware" and teaser anti-virus suites. This is what it would appear Microsoft is hoping for. The European Union's preferred solution remains a sort of pop-up voting screen offering users a choice of browser installs the first time they fire up a new Windows 7 machine. The EU may have its way in the end, even with Microsoft seeming to be trying to pull the rug out from under their feet.

This state of affairs has nothing to do with the pricing of the various versions of Windows 7 in Europe, or does it? Windows 7 Home Premium is slated at €119.99 ($169.19 at today's rate) in countries using the euro and £79.99 ($132.28 at today's rate) in the UK. People in the US will be paying "only $119 for the same software after a two-week pre-order sales discount expires July 11" according to Computer World. Plus, US customers will receive Internet Explorer as part of the default install.

Even more surprising, Windows 7 Ultimate, which will retail for $219.99 in America will cost around 90% more in euros and 50% more in pounds, at current rates. It's worth remembering that the versions listed for comparison are full versions in Europe and upgrade versions in the US as Microsoft hasn't announced when upgrade versions will be available in the EU. Without the initial choice on October 22 users will have no choice but to purchase the full versions or wait until Microsoft has the upgrade versions ready for the EU.

Article update - to reflect the fact that pricing is based on Full edition in Europe as Microsoft will not be supplying upgrade editions initially.

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Albert said,
i guess this is microsofties' way of saying to the eu: "i fart in your general direction!"

Then the EU retorts with: I take a dump on your head by stopping you selling your OS until you include a ballot screen on startup

Yep Tryckee... Did the EU really expect to fine Microsoft millions of dollars and see no repercussions??? You want it your way, right away? This ain't Burger King, you're gonna pay for the changes.

Go Microsoft!

(on the OTHER side) Why not just get a technet subscription and shut up? Non-Commercial use of anything they make for 250 bucks during their special? Anyone upgrading 2 or more home machines would be an idiot not to.

Kelxin said,
Yep Tryckee... Did the EU really expect to fine Microsoft millions of dollars and see no repercussions???

What repercussions? They will still have to include a ballot screen if they wish to sell their OS in the EU. I see no change.

Its nothing to do with guts, and everything to do with what an end user needs, and until Linux becomes a viable gaming platform it will still be Windows.

toadeater said,
If Europeans had any guts they'd ditch Windows for Linux right now.

Many of us have. And many more are joining the ranks worldwide. The days of one dominating OS are numbered...

toadeater said,
If Europeans had any guts they'd ditch Windows for Linux right now.

we do have guts, guts fill our bowels then we expel, so we're fully aware of what Linux is and why we don't use it.

They should take out the Solitaire from a fresh install too... If I were a Card game developer I'd be really ****ed -.-

C'mon :S

These are just speculations! Only taxes can raise the price of an imported product. Else it will not be permitted to sale across eu.
Who cares? If its price goes sky high... Thank God there are torrents... and not only...!

yet another FAIL report. Neowin is becoming more sensationalist than the SUN (UK tabloid for those non UK'ers)
whatever happens, it could definately be worse, we could be iSheep using the OSX dictatorship

i dont understand why everyone's crying about this.

you get the full installation disk, that allows clean installs, aswell as upgrades, for the same price as the upgrade only version. i'd much rather pay for the upgrade version and get a full clean install out of it, instead of throwing out another £50 or however much it is to be able to do a clean install. for the first time ever, i might concidering paying for my OS.

as for taking out IE, it is a pathetic argument from the EU and it serves absolutely no purpose really because most people who are given the option dont understand the difference between the other browsers and will install IE anyway as microsoft are going to recomend it.

the thought of having a menu at first boot ask whether i want IE, firefox or any other browser they have to include doesnt sound that bad at all, itll take an extra 10 seconds.

and if youre gonna install firefox, or anything other than IE, i spose it saves you time cause you dont have to set up IE just to visit the other browsers download page ;p

I'm sure Microsoft is laughing all the way to the bank with this one.

There will be boxed copies of IE8 selling for £50 on the shelf right next to Windows 7E for £200, and most punters will buy them both rather than try and figure out how to find a copy of Firefox somewhere!

btw - does Apple bundle Safari with OSX in Europe?

dvb2000 said,
...btw - does Apple bundle Safari with OSX in Europe?

'Course they do, their updater software for Windows which gets installed with iTunes used to force-install Safari on Windows users' PCs. I don't see the EU getting all whiney about that.

On topic meanwhile, 80 quid for a full version of Windows 7 premium isn't too bad is it? I just tried to check the price of a Vista home premium on Scan.co.uk, but they had nothing under the Vista retail section (whatever that's suggesting...), but I did find that an OEM copy of Vista home premium to be £81.

EDIT: actually, when I say "nothing under the Vista retail section", I meant "nothing but a copy of the book "Windows Vista for Dummies""... Whatever THAT's saying :P :P

Hmmm? Really? 2x more expensive in Europe?

Damn!! That means it's gonna be 4x more expensive here in Australia than Europe.

And of ocurse only with an english voice......we pay more, and even if we pay the same we dont have other narrator voice than english.

Kralik said,
That's a bad call on MS part IMO.. will only encourage piracy/ripping and illegal torrents..

Seriously, i think that is the premise of microsoft......piracy so all kinds of trojans and virus will be live on your pcs.

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