A decade after it insisted that it couldn’t be done in front of a US federal judge, Microsoft has decided to unbundle Internet Explorer from its operating system.
From October, when Windows 7 hits the shelves, customers in Europe can install the browser of their choice.
At least, that’s the hype.
The EU commissioners are unimpressed so far, saying Windows should come with a choice of browsers already installed, rather than none at all.
If Redmond follows through on it’s no browser plan, then it will mean a bewildering eighteen different versions of Windows to choose from, with labels like Home Basic and Business DeLuxe.
Those distinctions often matter to businesses, though most users (excepting hardcore gamers) will probably go with whatever’s on the box the PC guy in the computer store oversells with a technoblizzaard of performance statistics. End users rarely choose their operating system. Computer manufacturers make the choice for them.
Meanwhile, in the Linux world, you can have Ubuntu classic, Xubuntu, Mythbuntu, Kubuntu, netbook remix, Kubuntu, Edubuntu, Gobuntu, and that’s just the buntus…
How odd then that Apple, a brand built on offering freedom of choice in a world of Windows clones, comes in only one flavour.