Windows 7 in Europe is going to ship without Internet Explorer. The move by Microsoft is in response to its recurrent problems with the EU. Manufacturers of new PCs will be able to choose a browser to install on the machine (most likely IE of course). Consumers purchasing Windows 7 will have to have broswer software ready on disk before they install the new OS.
US websites have reported the efficiency of the Windows 7 upgrade process but it looks as if we Europeans aren’t going to find out for ourselves how smooth the process is. It seems that Microsoft have taken EU demands to stop shipping a browser with the OS so literally that they will not allow an upgrade from a version with an integrated browser.
Consumers buying an ‘upgrade’ version of the OS will have to wipe their hard drives and install the new operating system afresh. Then they will have to install all of their applications again. Then reinstall all their data. Assuming they remembered to make a backup in the first place of course.