Last week we learned of Microsoft's proposal to the EU for a browser ballot screen where users will be able to choose which browser they'd wish to have installed and default on the system.
The European Commission seemed to be accepting on the idea, which now has Microsoft feeling comfortable enough to axe plans for a special version of Windows 7 for the European market that includes no browser, called Windows 7 E.
Dave Heiner, VP and Deputy General Counsel for Microsoft, wrote in blog, "In the wake of last week’s developments, as well as continuing feedback on Windows 7 E that we have received from computer manufacturers and other business partners, I’m pleased to report that we will ship the same version of Windows 7 in Europe in October that we will ship in the rest of the world."
While shipping a version of Windows 7 without any browser at all would have put the antitrust concerns to rest, Microsoft and its partners felt that having a separate version of the OS could cause headaches down the road.
Heiner explained, "One reason we decided not to ship Windows 7 E is concerns raised by computer manufacturers and partners. Several worried about the complexity of changing the version of Windows that we ship in Europe if our ballot screen proposal is ultimately accepted by the Commission and we stop selling Windows 7 E. Computer manufacturers and our partners also warned that introducing Windows 7 E, only to later replace it with a version of Windows 7 that includes IE, could confuse consumers about what version of Windows to buy with their PCs."
Although Microsoft has already dug the grave for Windows 7 E, dirt can't be thrown until the EU officially signs off on the browser ballot screen idea. (More on that here.)