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Windows 7 Clean Install Only In Europe 803

jbeale53 writes "It seems that to install Windows 7 in Europe, you'll have to wipe the system and start over. There will be no ability to upgrade. From the article, 'The unfortunate side effect has been caused by Microsoft's decision to avoid any further EU censure on Windows 7 by removing Internet Explorer 8 from the OS. Because Internet Explorer is so deeply integrated within Vista, it's not currently possible to perform an upgrade that removes IE.' Why would Microsoft cripple it this way? Just to try and point fingers at the European Union? Because the EU didn't tell them to remove IE, they only told them to offer other browsers to be installed during setup."
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Windows 7 Clean Install Only In Europe

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  • OOh (Score:4, Insightful)

    by symbolset ( 646467 ) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @12:06AM (#28712329) Journal

    As much as I would like to find fault with Microsoft here...

    Anybody that "upgrades" a Windows operating system in place from one version to another is an idiot.

    People should reinstall their Windows from scratch at least once a year. Any less frequent than that and the successive patches to patches to patches become too much for the system to bear. The successive software installs and uninstalls leave hanging dependencies that slow the system to even worse of a crawl than it was at first install. An "upgraded" system drags with it the legacy rootkits previously installed, and those cause issues even in the best case. In the worst case the malware and crudware bog down the system so much you're lucky to get any work done at all.

    A fresh install of XP on modern equipment is almost as snappy as Linux. After a year you're powering up and going for coffee while it "wakes up". After an "OS Upgrade" you don't dare power the thing off unless you're going on vacation for a week. Patch Tuesday has spawned "Team Building Wednesday".

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      EXACTLY. You'd have to be seriously dumb to "upgrade" a Windows box. I have never once seen this go well. Between Vista and 7 maybe it will be better because they're so alike, but I doubt it. I don't see the big deal with upgrading anyway. What's the point? So you can save 5 minutes backing up your stuff? (assuming that like much of the general buffoonery you don't have it already backed up) It takes about 10-15 minutes to install Vista from start to finish on a blank, modern machine. Judging from the total
      • Re:OOh (Score:5, Interesting)

        by smash ( 1351 ) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @12:37AM (#28712509) Homepage Journal

        Just to add to this... I've upgraded 2 machines from Vista 64 Ultimate to Windows 7 RC (both of them FAR from clean installs - one was 2 years old with a few hundred gig of games and other crap on it, the other was a work machine with a year worth of junk on it) and they both went pretty well. The only thing i had to do was do a repair of VMware workstation, as Windows 7's installer clobbered the network devices.

        I figured "why not, I may as well see how it goes" as I'd need to do a reinstall anyway (and all the shit i care about is on a separate disk) if i wanted to do a clean install... but i was pleasantly surprised at how painless the upgrade was. ESPECIALLY considering it was only the RC...

        I agree, you'd be dumb to *rely* on an upgrade to work and not be prepared to reinstall, but so far I've been happy with not doing it, using the RC.

      • Re:OOh (Score:5, Insightful)

        by superdave80 ( 1226592 ) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @12:56AM (#28712637)

        "So you can save 5 minutes backing up your stuff?"

        Hell, I don't even worry about that anymore. Partition for Windows on C:, partition for all my data on D:. C: gets wiped, D: remains untouched.

        • Re:OOh (Score:4, Insightful)

          by obarthelemy ( 160321 ) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @02:25AM (#28713237)

          That's the smart way to do it.

          Right-click on "my documents" to move it to a folder on D:

          Also, well-programmed apps (World of Warcraft comes to mind) are actually self-contained: everything they need is in their own directory, so if you put them on D:, they'll run right of the bat after a reinstall. One can't help but wonder why all apps are not that way.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by digitig ( 1056110 )

            That's the smart way to do it.

            Right-click on "my documents" to move it to a folder on D:

            Unfortunately, quite a few applications don't bother checking for the location of "My Documents" and go ahead and recreate it on the C: drive if it's not there, leading to user data being split between drives.

          • Re:OOh (Score:4, Insightful)

            by cayenne8 ( 626475 ) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @06:32AM (#28714475) Homepage Journal
            "Right-click on "my documents" to move it to a folder on D:"

            Hmm...I've never really ever kept anything in My Documents. I generally don't like to put everything in a default folder the OS chooses.

    • Re:OOh (Score:4, Informative)

      by schnikies79 ( 788746 ) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @12:19AM (#28712401)

      You don't have to reinstall every year. My main rig has been running the same, non-reinstalled copy of XP for over 3 years. It's fast and stable.

      As far as upgrading though? That's dumb.

      • Re:OOh (Score:5, Interesting)

        by _Sharp'r_ ( 649297 ) <sharper&booksunderreview,com> on Thursday July 16, 2009 @01:00AM (#28712677) Homepage Journal

        I guess I'm just dumb, then.

        I've run the same windows system with just OS upgrades (95-2000-XP Pro), no fresh installs, for about 12 years now. That's around 6-7 MB/CPU/Ram/HD/Video hardware upgrade cycles, since I always build my own and tend to upgrade pieces most of the time. I still have the original Win 95 install files in a sub-directory on my hard drive.

        I'm currently running a dual-core with 2 GB of ram and a RAID 1/0 hard drive config (4 drives), so maybe that's it (although hardly unusual in today's market), but my computer seems much faster to me than any other computer I've worked on in the last few years, even brand-new computers with "fresh" installs.

        I have 200+ applications installed, many of which are old enough that I'd never find the install media again, if I ever did a fresh install (packed away in some box somewhere, I suppose, since I've moved 4 times in the last 12 years).

        Of course, I've also never bought into the idea that the only way to clean up an infected windows box is to reinstall everything from scratch. It takes me about 30 minutes of work to clean up the worst infected windows computer I've ever seen (and I've seen a lot). That's 30 minutes of work for me and about a day or so of work for the computer. Saves the end user a ton of work reinstalling everything, though.

        I mean, I know that windows can be stupidly convoluted sometimes compared to unix, but it seems like the "fresh install of windows solves everything" crowd tends to be people who just don't understand what's going on under the hood enough to actually solve the problem they've run into.

        • Re:OOh (Score:4, Interesting)

          by TheSambassador ( 1134253 ) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @02:27AM (#28713251)
          I'm a bit confused as to how you've upgraded your HDs without reinstalling? Unless you're ghosting your computer (which seems dumb and much slower to me than just reformatting), or literally keeping the old HD in and copying all the files onto another one? I have absolutely no idea why you would CHOOSE to never reformat, given the definite speed increases...

          Regardless, you're the exception, not the rule. I've seen computers less than 2 years old take 5 minutes to get to the point where you can open a browser, and the users had never installed more than Office. Similarly, I've had people who've had their computer for years and years and it still runs great. These things are somewhat of a mystery... (though bad hardware or malware are probably to blame).

          However, I have to mention the fact that the advantages to reformatting outnumber any inconveniences of reinstalling programs (unless you've been careless and lost a CD key, in which case you can either locate it within the program before you reformat or find a way to crack it).

          Reformatting for me usually takes about 40 minutes, and then reinstalling everything might take an hour or so (depending on what I'm reinstalling). I have a working computer that's running faster without all of the crap that was on it previously, and it's so incredibly easier to do than manually finding all of the stuff left behind by uninstalled programs, malware, viruses, etc. Plus I have the piece of mind KNOWING about everything that's on my computer, not to mention tons of free space!

          Bottom line is that people SHOULD be reformatting if they're upgrading their computer. A fresh install runs MUCH more smoothly than an OS laid on top of another OS. Whether or not upgrading works for some people is moot... reformatting will ALWAYS be faster.
          • Macintosh (Score:3, Funny)

            by countach ( 534280 )

            All the Macintosh users are gloating, since upgrades, and migrating to new machines seems to be always flawless and painless.

            • Re:Macintosh (Score:5, Informative)

              by uglyduckling ( 103926 ) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @07:14AM (#28714647) Homepage
              Yes, although my approach is usually to do a clean install and then use the OS X migration feature to bring the applications and files over. And, I have to say, in my experience so far this works perfectly - every file, every setting, desktop background, application settings, everything. I can walk up to a new Mac, set my MacBook into Firewire target disk mode, and have that Mac as a perfect clone of my MacBook within a couple of hours, no user intervention needed. The advantage of this approach is that it's stepwise - if there is an issue with the new OS, I can go back to the older install on the other disk or partition. If I desperately need to use the machine in the meantime I can abort the transfer and reboot, then set it going again when I'm ready. It totally avoids that panic that things just might go wrong .
            • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

              Apart from the ones whose machines were fucked up by installing Leopard [].

        • Re:OOh (Score:5, Insightful)

          by myxiplx ( 906307 ) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @03:37AM (#28713631)

          You've never come across some of the viruses I've seen then. Ever seen one that still loads, even in Safe Mode? How about the one that disables system restore, regedit, task manager, msconfig, *and* still ran in safe mode? That little bugger could lock down the computer better than most IT admins I know.

          Thankfully it was only a single process virus. The ones that run as a linked set of 3 (randomly named) processes are the worst. You can't kill any process individually, you have to get all three at the same time, before they can re-launch each other.

          The last time I attempted to clean a PC was a year ago, it took 6 hours to get all the viruses. There were at least 6 strains on there, three of which weren't identified by any virus scan (neither Sophos, Symantec nor AVG found them), and were subsequently identified by Sophos as being new.

          It was pure luck that I spotted the one that still ran in Safe Mode, and it was an absolute swine to remove, even with all the tools and experience I have at my disposal (and I've been manually removing viruses for 6+ years).

          I would never try to manually clean a system these days, there is no way to guarantee you found everything, and there are too many 'stealth' viruses out there that infect small numbers of computers in an attempt to fly under the AV companies radar, and with the viruses that sit and harvest bank details, the risk is just too great.

          These days I would always advise to backup your data, wipe, and re-install. It's the only way to be sure.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by L4t3r4lu5 ( 1216702 )
            Your first mistake was attempting to boot an infected Windows installation.

            Where was your BartPE / Linux LiveCD? If you can mount NTFS and the registry, you can remove pretty much anything you want on the partition. Hell, download ClamAV and create a new repair disk every week; Most readers will boot from CDRW now. Once you've cleaned it out, run a Windows repair from the installation disk if it won't boot, check if the processes return, and you're done.
      • Re:OOh (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Pig Hogger ( 10379 ) < minus cat> on Thursday July 16, 2009 @01:16AM (#28712791) Journal

        You don't have to reinstall every year. My main rig has been running the same, non-reinstalled copy of XP for over 3 years. It's fast and stable.

        Heh. 2 months ago, I retired my main workstation, a Win2000 box that has been running since 2001 doing software development, CAD and whatnot. I never had needed to reinstall the software in all that time.

    • Re:OOh (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Brave Guy ( 457657 ) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @12:21AM (#28712417)

      The only problem with this once-good advice is that in a world of DRM-restricted ****, a complete wipe and reinstall of your system almost guarantees you'll lose something, even if you think you've backed everything up.

      I suppose this is what we get for using an operating system that doesn't clearly distinguish between data that can change (real or configuration metadata) vs. fixed code/data for the OS and applications that changes only if and when you install a different version. It's also what we get for using an OS that lets applications mess with things like your boot sector to implement DRM (I'm looking at you, Adobe) and provides separate storage for configuration that isn't in the main file system at all (registry), so there are all sorts of places for vital information to hide and avoid being backed up in the first place or easy to restore even if it is saved.

      Unfortunately, until Microsoft grow up on this front or someone writes software as powerful as Creative Suite to run on Linux, this is the world many of us are stuck in. :-(

    • Re:OOh (Score:5, Informative)

      by 0100010001010011 ( 652467 ) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @12:23AM (#28712431)

      I learned to image a long time ago, makes things much faster.

      I get the base XP install with ALL the security updates. *snapshot*

      Next time it's time to do it again, I start from there, install all the security updates. *snapshot*.

      Quite a bit faster.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I would agree that doing an OS upgrade by doing a backup, saving off data, low level formatting all drives (some SCSI drives allow a true low level erase of every sector and relocate any bad blocks they find, others just do a read across all sectors and call it done), then a complete OS rebuild is a good idea, regardless of OS, be it AIX, Solaris, Windows, BSD, or Linux.

      However, even though this is a good thing in principle, it is tough to do in practice. A lot of Windows machines have apps which the insta

    • Re:OOh (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Falconhell ( 1289630 ) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @12:34AM (#28712485) Journal

      Whilst I agree that upgrading the OS is a bad idea the suggestion that one needs to reinstall every year is just plain wrong. I have 200 systems that have been running the same image for 5 years with no slowdowns or problems. You must be doing something wrong.

      Oh and creating a ghost image of your fresh install is a much better option than reinstalling
      timewise. I have not needed to install for years.
      Having the patches to make XP loaded drive boot in any machine you like helps.

      • Re:OOh (Score:4, Insightful)

        by smash ( 1351 ) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @12:59AM (#28712665) Homepage Journal

        Agreed. If you keep the systems free of spyware, viruses, and lock them down enough so users don't mess with them too much (i.e., they're set up as a work machine, and used only for work), Windows is as easy to keep "clean" as any other OS.

        It is shitware (aka a lot of "shareware") installers, viruses, spyware, internet toolbars and other associated crap that messes them up.

        If you deploy Linux, OS/X or any other operating system and hand over the root password (or sudo access) to a typical *user* it will get messed up too.

        • Re:OOh (Score:4, Informative)

          by MojoStan ( 776183 ) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @01:57AM (#28713057)

          It is shitware (aka a lot of "shareware") installers, viruses, spyware, internet toolbars and other associated crap that messes them up.

          For those who haven't heard, CCleaner [] ("Crap Cleaner") is a very good utility that removes that crap left behind.

          I think reasonably careful Windows users (don't run as Administrator all the time or install mysteryware without Googling it first) should be able to keep their system snappy with CCleaner.

    • Re:OOh (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Kufat ( 563166 ) <kufat.kufat@net> on Thursday July 16, 2009 @12:44AM (#28712539) Homepage

      Anecdotal, but...
      My PC is an Athlon 64 3200+ running XP SP3. Before that, it was an Athlon XP 1800+, and a PII/450 before that. I upgraded from a botched Win98 install on the PII to XP RC1(!), and haven't done a clean install since. (I've done repair installs with each CPU/mobo upgrade.) My PC has always been as snappy and responsive as I could hope for; the only problem is an occasional machine check exception which may be due to hardware. (Diagnostics say that the error occurs on HyperTransport 0, which connects the CPU core to its on-chip memory controller.)
      Maybe the stability is due in part to avoiding crap and bloatware; I use FF, Thunderbird, and Pidgin, and disable most unnecessary services and the startup apps that some programs try to install. I also do clean uninstalls when I remove programs and generally try to trim the fat.

      However, I do see less experienced users' PCs running slowly and unreliably...sometimes it's a clearly defined spyware problem and sometimes it's "Windows bloeat" or whatever you'd like to call it. I can't say what they do differently because I'm not looking over their shoulders.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Mad Merlin ( 837387 )

      People should reinstall their Windows from scratch at least once a year.

      Good lord you Windows people love abuse. You reinstall every single year, and you find that acceptable? That's got to chew through at least a day or three every single time, especially since package managers don't exist on Windows.

      In comparison, all of my Linux installs are the original ones, and they run like new (better actually, as they have much newer software now) after 3-5 years of 24/7 operation. In fact, it's not uncommon for th

    • Re:OOh (Score:4, Informative)

      by syousef ( 465911 ) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @02:29AM (#28713265) Journal

      People should reinstall their Windows from scratch at least once a year.

      Glad you have the time to waste reinstalling from scratch once a year. Some of us have other things to do with our lives. You go around calling people who don't do this an "idiot" but I'd call anyone who spends several hours once a year on each machine they own an idiot. This is NOT the only way to get decent performance out of windows, even if it is the only way YOU know how to do it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Drogo007 ( 923906 )

      The reinstall each year was good advice in the 95/98 days - since MS went to the NT kernal (2000, XP, etc) - not so much.

      I had one machine that served as my primary machine (gaming, light development, etc) for 3+ years running XP with no reinstalls - the only reason it's not still running is that I upgraded.

      I have a machine that acts as a print server, file server, ripping/burning station, etc that's been running the same Win2k install for 7+ years now.

      Neither machine suffered appreciably - not like my old

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      While I agree that upgrading a windows install is not a good idea, this notion that XP needs to be reinstalled every year is a myth. the notebook I use at work (company owned) is running with the very same XP install it had when I got it. 3 solid years. no reinstalls.

      I give you that it's running a little slower today than when I got it, but this has nothing to do with microsoft, patches or anything. it was because of a brain dead decision from upper management a year ago of deploying mcafee antivirus to
  • Same old crap (Score:4, Informative)

    by gruntled ( 107194 ) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @12:15AM (#28712379)

    They did exactly the same thing during the antitrust trial. In December 1997 (or thereabouts), Microsoft responded to Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson's order to provide a version of Windows 98 without a browser by offering up a version of the OS that wouldn't run.

    • Re:Same old crap (Score:4, Informative)

      by RedK ( 112790 ) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @12:49AM (#28712567)
      It was a lie then, it's a lie now. The browser isn't required at all, only MSHTML.dll which is used to embed the HTML rendering component in applications and is used quite extensively elsewhere. Internet Explorer itself is just another browser than embeds it and adds functionality around it like navigation controls, bookmarks and tabs. You can delete iexplore.exe off any system without much repercussions.
      • Re:Same old crap (Score:5, Insightful)

        by man_of_mr_e ( 217855 ) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @01:27AM (#28712857)

        The problem was, you could still access the internet via explorer, just by typing a URL in any windows explorer window. Further, deleting iexplore.exe means you couldn't get updates. I'd call that a big repercussion.

        The point was not that Microsoft couldn't create a version of Windows without a browser, obviously they could. They couldn't simply remove it instantly without basically creating a system that was non-functional.

        The judge gave them 30 days to remove IE. Not enough time to re-engineer the OS without the browser in a way that wouldn't break things.

      • by tjstork ( 137384 ) <> on Thursday July 16, 2009 @01:38AM (#28712929) Homepage Journal

        The MSHTML is the issue. What's the point of saying you have removed the web browser, when you really haven't? If you want to remove the web browser, the HTML rendering engine has to go. Otherwise, anyone could wrap a simple browser wrapper around IE's rendering engine and still get the effect of shutting out browser competitors. Microsoft is completely right in this, and the EU is simply wrong. A modern operating system includes a bundled browser.

  • by bogaboga ( 793279 ) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @12:35AM (#28712491)

    I currently run Windows XP and Debian with KDE 4.2.4 and I love them all. Could someone tell me why I should care about Windows 7? Heck...the need for its activation too keeps me far from even trying it out.

    • by smash ( 1351 ) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @12:43AM (#28712535) Homepage Journal
      vs XP: GUI is actually nicer to use (yay for a toolbar i can turn into a proper Dock :D), previous versions, UAC (it works), 64 bit (yes, xp 64 bit exists, but its a dead end product), improved scheduler (with better support for SMP due to the dispatcher lock being removed - it certainly feels snappier for it), search that actually works well, etc.

      If you have >1gb ram, i highly recommend giving the RC a go and see for yourself. Of course a heap of people on /. will bitch about it because of the DRM, activation, cost, etc - but as a usable product its actually quite neat.

  • by RoFLKOPTr ( 1294290 ) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @12:42AM (#28712531)

    Bracing for modded down... but here goes.

    There was really no reason for them not to be able to bundle their own software in their own OS. Why isn't Apple being told not to include Safari and iTunes and iCal and iWhateverthefuck in their OS? A software company should be able to include whatever they want, and if people don't like it then either don't buy it or stop complaining. But the fact of the matter is... anybody who currently uses Internet Explorer either likes it better than everything else, has no clue of the difference between it and Firefox and whatever else, or the more likely reason that their company forces them to, and that is not going to change no matter how many browsers are included in the OS.

    But anyway the point of this comment is to say that of course Microsoft is going to do their best to make sure they meet all of the requirements and then some, because they are pissed. If Microsoft were a sole proprietorship and I was the sole proprietor, I would certainly tell the EU to fuck off by making things as hard as possible for them as a result of their stupid decision.

    Also, great work on the unbiased summary there jbeale53 and samzenpus.

    • by RedK ( 112790 ) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @12:52AM (#28712589)
      Because when Microsoft includes a product on its Monopolistic OS, they are leveraging that Monopoly in order to gain one in another market. When Apple does it, it's business as usual. Different rules apply to Monopolies. Thems the breaks kiddo.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Tom ( 822 )

      There was really no reason for them not to be able to bundle their own software in their own OS. Why isn't Apple being told not to include Safari and iTunes and iCal and iWhateverthefuck in their OS?

      Because Apple is not convicted of abusing monopoly powers to control a market.

      Next strawman, please. This one is getting old.

      If Microsoft were a sole proprietorship and I was the sole proprietor, I would certainly tell the EU to fuck off by making things as hard as possible for them as a result of their stupid decision.

      It's generally a very bad idea to piss off the people who can confiscate considerable parts of your property. The EU is a larger market than the US. Telling the EU to "fuck off" is the dumbest business decision a multinational corporation could possibly make.

    • by amirulbahr ( 1216502 ) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @01:55AM (#28713033)

      Monopolies get special treatment as far as the law is concerned, and for good reason.

      Microsoft, if given freedom to trade as it pleases, is in a position to stifle competition by making interoperability impossible and by not allowing competitor's software to work on its systems. This is great for Microsoft shareholders in the short to medium term, but it is terrible for society as a whole. That is why anti-competitive practices are regulated and prosecuted, especially when it comes to large monopolistic corporations.

      As a side note, I believe anti-competitive behaviour is bad for shareholders in the long term too. It is no guarantee against failure, but more likely when a monopoly really doesn't innovate its products and services, then the inevitable failure will come along in a catastrophic way. Also, shareholders being members of society should want progression for society as a whole, not just a progression of their net worth relative to everyone else.

  • by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF ( 813746 ) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @12:46AM (#28712547)

    Why would Microsoft cripple it this way? Just to try and point fingers at the European Union? Because the EU didn't tell them to remove IE, they only told them to offer other browsers to be installed during setup.

    Actually the EU has not ordered MS to take any specific action. They do seem to favor multiple browsers installed by default as a remedy, but haven't "told" MS anything other than that they think MS is committing a crime and are looking into it. MS's announcement that they are excluding IE in Windows 7 was a preemptive strike by MS in the hopes the EU would not order a more effective remedy, but the EU basically told them they weren't dropping the case and were going to investigate and determine the most effective remedy regardless of what MS does at this point.

    Assuming all the above premises hold, it seems likely this is just MS being lazy and incompetent and not wanting to expend effort to write an upgrader for Europe that won't install IE.

    • by Rockoon ( 1252108 ) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @07:43AM (#28714783)

      MS's announcement that they are excluding IE in Windows 7 was a preemptive strike by MS in the hopes the EU would not order a more effective remedy,

      What could possibly be more effective than the removal of IE from the OS?

      Isn't the complaint that IE is included in the OS, and that this is the problem?

      There is NOTHING more effective than that. I'm sorry but the whole "include other browsers" thing is pretty laughable. It isnt a remedy for anything.. it is instead a bunch of bullshit pretending to be a remedy.

      Sure.. the end users in the E.U. are of course NOT going to be choosing a browserless OS .. because they want a fucking browser! The tragedy here is that the company is being fucked with precisely because it is giving the customers what they want, as if that is some sort of crime.

      In other news, Google announces a Browser with an OS bundled.

  • by andersh ( 229403 ) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @12:49AM (#28712571)

    While upgrading is convenient, won't this actually give European users a better start with Windows 7? Windows is always better when it's clean and recently installed.

    At least my experience with upgrading from one version of Windows to another has been "mixed". I prefer to install from scratch.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 16, 2009 @12:53AM (#28712599)

    how do I go and download FireFox?

  • by KillzoneNET ( 958068 ) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @12:59AM (#28712663)

    the more I see MS giving the EU a big F U. Not only have they had to put up with them telling them to open their system up for competition, but they get fined for when they try to do anything otherwise.

    "Blasphemy!" they say. "We will only lose more market share!"

    And its true. My god, imagine Normal-Joe-User having the choice between several brands of web browsers and media players to choose from. Internet Explorer sounds old and so 80s, where as Firefox has the words "fire" and "fox" so its gotta be both exciting and cuddly right?

    So instead of giving them the choice, they opt to not give them any at all, foregoing the need to even have to bother with the EU ever again. I can see Balmer and his cronies sitting in a meeting and they all unanimously say "fuck it," raising a middle finger across the Atlantic as hard as they possibly could.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 16, 2009 @01:47AM (#28712971)
      My what an ignorant jerk you are. The EU and the European market represent a huge share of Microsoft's profits, how likely do you think they are to screw with that? How stupid can you get?! If Microsoft wants to play here they have to follow our rules.

      I'm so tired of hearing fools like you talk about how Microsoft should just "pull out" of Europe. When are you going to get it? They don't want to! They can't unless they want to lose markets all around the world! European international corporations would move to European Linux distributions (in all the countries they operate in around the world).

      The EU asked them to include more options for browsers, do you even know how to read? They did not ask them to remove IE, but that's fine too. After all it's not a problem since manufacturers can add whatever they like OEM-style.

      The EU is a massively powerful entity and Microsoft has no power to "lobby" their way out of this or any other issues unlike in the US. So you better get used to having your "American" corporations "screwed" over by us Europeans! Don't worry, the EU screws European corporations exactly the same way!
  • by Stan Vassilev ( 939229 ) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @02:19AM (#28713187)

    Because the EU didn't tell them to remove IE, they only told them to offer other browsers to be installed during setup.

    Saying "only" doesn't make that statement any less absurd. How is the selection for these browsers to be made? Because you know the moment Microsoft announces they're to put "select few" browsers in Windows 7, everyone will want theirs in.

    Opera says "top 5" browsers, but picking browsers by market share, in order to promote less popular competitors results in a bitter irony. Not to mention the magical number "5" comes from Opera being 5-th in desktop browser market share. If it was "top 3" they wouldn't even be in that list, depriving them of the purpose of their own lawsuit. Have you seen what YouTube says to IE6 users? Please upgrade to a modern browser: Chrome, IE8, Firefox. Opera's nowhere in that list. Should they sue YouTube?

    What the EU commission wants from Microsoft is a solution that can't be carried out in any sensible manner. But maybe that's exactly what they want, have you seen what EU charges Microsoft for failing to abide? To paraphrase another euphemism, let's call it "surprise tax" ;)

  • Removing IE (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Phroggy ( 441 ) <slashdot3&phroggy,com> on Thursday July 16, 2009 @03:04AM (#28713435) Homepage

    Alright, here's where I'm confused:

    In Windows Vista, you cannot remove IE. You can upgrade from 7 to 8, of course, but there's no way to remove it, and things will break if you try, because it was never designed to operate without IE present, although it's certainly better than XP was in that respect.

    In Windows 7, you can remove IE. Control Panel, Programs and Features, click the link in the sidebar to "Turn Windows features on or off", uncheck Internet Explorer 8, click Yes to the warning that this might break stuff, let it reboot, wait a few extra seconds while it "configures" things, and it's gone. The rendering engine is still there, of course, but the application is gone.

    Presumably, after you have upgraded from Vista to 7, this is still true; you can still remove IE by following the above steps.

    So how hard is it to just automatically add the uninstall to the upgrade process? Make it optional: after completing an upgrade, ask the user whether they'd like to remove IE or keep it.

    And hey, if I recall correctly, they were planning to offer two versions anyway: you could either have IE preinstalled, or not. So, they could make the no-IE version clean-install-only, and the with-IE version could be clean-install or upgrade.

    This is definitely not a technical problem.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by L4t3r4lu5 ( 1216702 )
      It's to leaverage IE onto Vista systems. If "E" ("European Edition" - No IE) is clean install only, then people won't buy "E". It's a marketing ploy to keep IE as top dog. They want people to complain about the internet being broken.

      It's actually quite ingenious.
  • by fearlezz ( 594718 ) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @03:10AM (#28713465) Homepage

    why is the windows 7 price in europe going to be 150% of the dollar-price in euro's (100 dollar -> 150 euro). That's twice what americans pay.

  • side effects (Score:3, Informative)

    by z_gringo ( 452163 ) <`z_gringo' `at' `'> on Thursday July 16, 2009 @04:27AM (#28713875)
    And it what must be completely unrelated, Linux seems to be much more widely used here. In Spain, we have about half of our technical users using Linux ONLY, the other half run both. The non-technical users are still mostly on windows, but some run linux at home. I see a lot more linux on the desktop in Europe than in the US, and also, with the exception of Microsoft Exchange and the odd MS SQL server here and there, ALL the other servers are Linux. I haven't touched a server running microsoft in years now. Not because I really have anything against them, we just don't need Windows servers for anything.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by L4t3r4lu5 ( 1216702 )
      [citation needed]
      • Re:side effects (Score:4, Informative)

        by cheros ( 223479 ) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @05:53AM (#28714289)
        Probably the best example if what they got up to in what is apparently the poorest region of the country, Extremadure. I think the Debian conference link [] will give you enough to find out more.

        Basically (as far as I remember), they created their own distro for schools, and subsequently it went into gov use as well, with a small group of techs doing the support for the whole region. Running a business? Get your own CD and have a direct interface with the local government, I think for taxation etc.

        It looked like a sterling effort of the type that must have left MS grinding its teeth. Simple, functional, focused, effective. Sterling effort IMHO.
  • Petulance (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Bozovision ( 107228 ) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @05:10AM (#28714097) Homepage

    When my child gets punished for bad behavior, she will sometimes get cross and in a fit of spite she will do things that she thinks will hurt us, her parents. Often she ends up hurting herself more through her actions.

    Microsoft makes some fine software. They are a bunch of bright, creative people. But apparently they have the corporate personality of a 4 year old bully. They were caught being bad, again, and their response to being punished is petulance. Not to worry; they are harming themselves. The middle of a recession is not a good time to make your product more expensive and with a higher barrier to entry.


    I've seen a few people saying that it would be hard for them to give a choice of browsers, and that, in fact, just deciding which browsers would be too hard for some of the brightest people on the planet. I wouldn't compare my intellectual powers with those of Mr Ballmer, but I can imagine that they could:
    1. Publish the specifications of the integration API that IE supports, so that it can be implemented in other browsers
    2. Publish the source code to IE so that people can see what's missing from the API
    3. Bundle Mozilla, Opera and Safari
    4. Ask the user for a URL, then download a browser as part of the installation process
    5. Ask the user to insert a CD containing the browser

    None of these are exclusive of the others - they should be doing all five.

    What I see is a case of corporate petulance and bad grace from a management team who think that they are above the law.


    Now some balance.

    If I were in the position where I was genuinely surprised by the EU's decision (though I can't see how MS could possibly be surprised), and I was completely unprepared, rather than hold back the launch of the OS globally, I might choose to issue it in stages in the EU to give myself time to comply with the ruling. However, I would also be incredibly careful to communicate about this strategy so as not to upset my customers. But as far as I can make out, this is not what is happening here because I've seen no explanation as to how insisting on a clean install fits in with a two stage strategy or how it complies with the EU ruling.

  • Windows (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ledow ( 319597 ) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @06:27AM (#28714437) Homepage

    Okay, so I'm on XP at the moment... Just what incentive is there for me to upgrade, exactly?

    I just ran through the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor program, purely out of interest. Technically, I shouldn't have to update any hardware, though it didn't like my version of OpenOffice. Hardware's the biggest hurdle usually - I didn't plug every USB device I have in (as it recommends) but I don't see there being problems. However, the hassle associated with an "upgrade" is too much:

    - I would have to wipe my machine clean (I've never done that on a personal computer, only for work... I've reimaged from backups, or converted a blank partition over to Linux, but never had to wipe an operating system off just to upgrade).
    - I would have to reinstall ALL of my programs, settings, drivers, etc. that took me MONTHS to set up (seriously, I still have config files and reg files from programs that I set up ten years ago because they took a long time to get them how I like them).
    - I lose quite a few little interface tweaks that I like to use.
    - I gain some features that I really *can't* imagine myself using, and some that I can't imagine *anyone* really using.
    - I gain a chance to remove Internet Explorer, that I don't use anyway.

    I'm simplifying horribly, but what do I actually *gain* in real terms? Slightly updated hardware support? Maybe, but I haven't found anything that doesn't work on XP yet. Slightly better performance? Most probably drowned out by the fact that I only *just* qualify to run Windows 7 on this machine anyway, whereas I'm way over XP's comfort zone. Does it actually *do* anything that my current OS doesn't (that I will *ever* use), or is it just a case of "version apathy" and that when I get a new computer, it'll be Windows 7 and until then I might as well stick with what I have? Just the reinstall is hassle enough for me to say that I'll leave it until I get a new computer (which is a rare event for me).

    I don't remember it being this way for Windows 3.1 or Windows 95 or Windows 98 (and their various editions). I have even upgraded from 98 to XP without problems before now (although it's not something I would just assume would work). There's no technical reason why I can't upgrade, it's purely political, but even assuming I could: What do I gain for my money?

    When the cost of an operating system would actually see *more* benefit by being used to purchase RAM, drive space, peripherals, etc. I fail to see the attraction. Of course those with MSDN or money to burn will "upgrade" and tell us all how wonderful it is, but I can't see ANYTHING here... I didn't even see anything in Vista (which is universally loathed by the non-techy people who come to me for support). Even the usual press is quite "dumbed down" about Windows 7 - there was an article on the BBC News website, that was about it, and most of that was telling how people "can't upgrade". I remember a big press fuss over Vista but it doesn't seem present this time around.

    Are people finally plateauing in what they expect from an OS?

  • Come on people (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Karem Lore ( 649920 ) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @07:15AM (#28714655)

    I am an avid Linux and FreeBSD user, have been for a long time. However, I do use Windows on one of my home machine, mainly cause I like to play games...

    Now, I think that Windows 7 is by far the best OS to have come out of Redmond for a long time. Yes XP was good (after SP2), but it did suffer from limitations. The 64-bit version is a dead end so my new hardware can not be leveraged with Windows XP. I used Vista for a year and, while bloated and heavy, was an OK OS. I have a miniMac for work at home, I don't like it...The user interface is klunky IMHO. I do like the console though.

    Suse Linux is my fav linux, purely because the issues I have had have been easily resolved, package management is good and it just works. CentOS my fav for a server (with no gui).

    Back on topic now, Microsoft didn't just decide to remove IE from Windows, they though long and hard about how they can still get what they want and fit into the requirements of the EU. You think they just thought that that was the easiest? No. They did it because 1) They know that most people will just install IE anyway because its what they know. 2) They can blame the lack of functionality on the EU. 3) It's a two-finger salute to the EU. It fulfills the law, but in the worst possible way. 4) If users had a choice on install they may indeed pick something's like free advertising for other browsers, not something M$ would want to do.

    Now the EU won't accept this. They will still go after Microsoft because they are not stupid. The question is if the law supports them, which I am not sure it will (I think EU will lose, but who knows the politcal pressure behind the scenes can do many magical things).

  • install v upgrade (Score:3, Interesting)

    by viralMeme ( 1461143 ) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @08:02AM (#28714877)
    Is there anyway of tricking the installer to do an upgrade instead of wiping the whole syste. I do recall it was possible with earlier versions of Windows. Saved you from having to buy two CDs ..

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