European distribution of Windows 7 to be released without Internet Explorer!?

Written by AboKevin on . Posted in Antitrust, European Union, Internet Explorer, Microsoft, Opera, Opinion, Windows 7;

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In January the European Union stated that Microsoft most likely broke European antitrust laws since they were bundling Internet Explorer with their Windows Operating System. Today cnet news’ Ina Fried broke the story of Microsoft’s response to the EU; they will release a version of Windows 7 aimed for the European market without IE in it. As Microsoft themselves states it in their leaked memo;

"To ensure that Microsoft is in compliance with European law, Microsoft will be releasing a separate version of Windows 7 for distribution in Europe that will not include Windows Internet Explorer," the software maker said in the memo. "Microsoft will offer IE8 separately and free of charge and will make it easy and convenient for PC manufacturers to preinstall IE 8 on Windows 7 machines in Europe if they so choose. PC manufacturers may choose to install an alternative browser instead of IE 8, and has always been the case, they may install multiple browsers if they wish."

The whole case is so stupid in so many ways, and I have the following comments;

  1. This antitrust case comes at a time when there has never been more competition in the browser market than there is now. Firefox, Google Chrome and Safari are all doing very well, thank you very much. While IE had a market share that hovered around 90 % 5 years ago, it barely brakes 70 % today – and is on a steady decline.
  2. The main complainant in the case, Norwegian Opera Software, is (of course) not happy with Microsoft’s solution, saying that it will “not restore competition in the marketplace”. There are a lot of Opera fans out there, especially in Europe, but obviously not enough to make much of a dent in the charts when it comes to market share. But how come this browser is not gaining, while the other choices are? Might it be that the other products are perceived as better?


  3. If the European Union accepts this solution from Microsoft (which is not entirely sure) who thinks that PC manufacturers will actually provide a PC without a browser on it? And if they install one, which one will that likely be – IE most likely. Google might have the money to persuade manufacturers to bundle Chrome, but in no way does Opera Software have that money available. And what about retail versions of the OS? Does this imply that you go home with your copy of Windows, perform an upgrade or clean install only to have an OS with no internet browser at all? (This of course leads to the rebirth of internet browser CD install disks – back to the 90’s :-D) Stupid, stupid, stupid.
  4. In 2009 an internet browser is integral to any operating system. Apple Mac OS X without Safari? If this legal battle had taken place in the 90’s I could have understood it, but not now. The world has changed and the thought of having an operation system without an internet browser is just stupid. How in the world would you get on the net? You couldn’t even download a competing internet browser! As I have stated above there is more competition in this market than it has ever been, and Safari, Google and Firefox seems to be gaining market share at the cost of Internet Explorer every day. There obviously is no need for an antitrust case since the market seems to be functioning just fine.
  5. My last point: I am deeply sorry for this embarrassing legal battle instigated by a Norwegian Company (and we are not even members of the EU!).

What are your thoughts on this issue? If you reside in Europe will you purchase a European Internet browser free edition of Windows 7, or will you do as I will, get the US version?

What to go for; the 32 bit or 64 bit version of Windows 7?

Written by AboKevin on . Posted in HP dv9074ea, Microsoft, Opinion, Windows 7;, x64

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The common advice out there is that unless you have more than 4 GB RAM there really is no need to go for a 64bit version of Windows. Well, I think otherwise. Yesterday, I figured it was time to reformat and install Windows 7 RC on my recently returned laptop. It is a HP dv9074ea from 2006. It has a AMD Turion 64 X2 TL-56 processor, I have upgraded it to 2 GB RAM and it has two internal hard drives, initially both 80 GB drives, but one has been exchanged to a 500 GB one. I have been accepted into the Beta testing program for Windows 7 Norwegian Language Edition (x86) and heading the first advice I mentioned above, thus decided to install the 32 bit Norwegian Language RC on the laptop.

The install went fine, but I was greeted by something far from a clean device manager afterwards, and had to install Vista drivers in order to have the system running. I then went through the hoops detailed in my install guide. But things did not continue smoothly. Far from it. Norton Internet Security 2009 were not allowed to run its heuristic drivers (incompatible according to the OS), I experienced several systemwide hangs, and had to force a log out to have the OS respond to keystrokes on several occasions. After having installed several of my applications I ran a Windows Update and were met with the Office 2007 SP 2 download – a huge one. For me that was a decision point. I was not happy with they way my system was running. It seemed at times slow, non-responsive and flat out buggy. That coupled with the fact that I am now so used to the English version of the OS that I did not feel at ease with a Norwegian version, made me decide to reformat again.

This time I installed the English x64 version from a USB memory stick (check here for instructions on how to do it) and it took a total of 15 minutes from I restarted my machine, reformatted the C drive, installed Windows 7 RC to be greeted by the desktop. The Device Manager was not completely clean, but a Windows Update found the missing drivers and the system was really running fine. I have now installed almost all my frequently used applications and the system works the way I want it to – smoothly with no problems.

Funny fact; I even have a slightly better Windows Experience Index on the x64 version; 4.5 as opposed to 4.4 on the 32 bit version (both due to the integrated Nvidia GeForce 7600 Go video card).


I am not completely sure whether this is due to the 32 bit OS or to inherent bugs in the Norwegian Language version of Windows 7 RC, but the user experience made it an easy choice. Yes I had to install everything again (not hard – just time consuming), but definitely worth it.

What are your experiences on this? 32 or 64 bit and why? Let me know…


AboKevin’s Laptop Hunt: Episode 1: My Laptop died today

Written by AboKevin on . Posted in Apple, HP dv9074ea, Microsoft, Opinion, Personal

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Clubhouse Tags: Clubhouse, Story, Challenge-laptop


Last night I set my laptop to sleep, packed it into my computer backpack and went to bed. Today I brought it with me to work (as usual) and set it up on the desk, hit the power button and went to fetch a cup of coffee. When I returned to my office I was dismayed to find that the screen was black – pitch black. I moved the mouse… nothing happened, hmmm.. I used the touchpad… nothing happened… What the… I hit CTRL-ALT-DEL… still nothing… Okay, probably Bill Gates at work, so I held down the power button for 4 seconds and the machine powered down. I hit it again and waited for the usual HP logo screen… NOTHING!? and then… a long beep, and then two short ones. NOOOOOO… The videocard has died, and since this is embedded on the motherboard the whole thing needs to be replaced.


I contacted HP customer support, but since the warranty expired a long time ago, I mean – I bought this machine October 2006 – no immediate luck there. But, Norwegian consumer laws to the rescue. Under law I have 5 years in which I can complain and have the machine fixed. So I submitted my claim to HP and are now waiting their response, which I should have sometime tomorrow. (Wish me luck)

Being impatient I went to some online stores to see if there were any laptops I could think of purchasing if it comes to that. Microsoft has been running a lot of ads centering on the fact that Apple machines are way to expensive compared to PCs that are available. Well, are they?

Living in Norway, I went to Apples online store and was shocked to see the prices there:


For a 13 inch MacBook with and 2 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 2 GB of RAM and a 160 GB hard drive they wanted a whooping kr 11.000,- (approximately 1500 US dollars). No way…

Then I went to, one of Norway’s largest online computer shops and found this beauty;


A HP (yes, again) Pavilion dv5-1190 15,4 inch laptop, with a 2 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 4 GB RAM and  a 320 GB Hard drive for kr 7500 (approximately 1100 US dollars).

So, in other words a much larger screen, double the amount of RAM and double the amount of storage for kr 3500 less? Maybe my taste is awful, but I do think that the HP is every bit as appealing to the eye as the MacBook, so why the difference in price? It must be the silhouette of that one bite Golden Delicious on the front…


None so far, other than the fact that a snowball would survive in hell before I buy a Mac (or their prices have to drop significantly).

For now I am waiting for HPs response, and hopefully a repair of my laptop. You know, I really like my HP dv9074ea. It was purchased 2 1/2 years ago, which is a long time when it comes to computers, but it’s specs can still hold up, and it ran (hopefully runs) Windows 7 beautifully!

Wish me and my laptop luck! 🙂

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