Little or nothing will change for PC buyers in Europe following a US court?s decision to unbundle Windows 95 and Internet Explorer. Though the decision was hailed as a breakthrough by competitor Netscape, most major vendors still say they intend to ship their systems with Internet Explorer.
The top three PC vendors, Compaq, Dell and IBM, all confirmed that they will be bundling versions of Internet Explorer for the foreseeable future.
Compaq currently preinstalls IE 3.0 on its Deskpro systems in Europe. In January, the company will ship the systems with an OEM version of IE4 on CD-Rom in the box. This IE 4.0 version will include Compaq?s own IE 4 'channel'.
Compaq?s European product manager Jean-Christophe Francois said Compaq will eventually preinstall IE 4.0 on its commercial desktops, but no sooner than the second quarter of 1998. At that time, Compaq plans to ship desktops with either Windows 95 or Windows NT and IE 4.0 - but not with Windows 98, which Compaq will only ship on consumer systems.
Dell?s director of Internet Gordon Ballantyne said: ?It?s a customer requirement to have a browser installed on systems." Dell is currently transitioning from IE 3.0 to IE 4.0 on its Dimension line of commercial desktops, but Ballantyne said the company will install Netscape Navigator for customers who request this.
Meanwhile, Netscape remains hopeful. Suzanne Burnip, spokesperson for Netscape UK, said that the US court?s decision ?opens up the market?. But she couldn?t confirm whether Netscape might soon sign new OEM deals with PC vendors following the decision. She said Netscape currently has OEM deals with ICL and Siemens-Nixdorf.
US District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson?s decision means Microsoft can no longer force OEMs to ship Internet Explorer on every Windows system. But it can still use various forms of strong persuasion, and it is certainly doing that. The Redmond giant is warning OEMs and users that a Windows 95 machine without Internet Explorer is "crippled" and will not work properly.
However, Microsoft does not specify which technical problems might arise from not installing Internet Explorer, or exactly what functions are missing on systems that use Netscape Communicator instead.
Dust storm on Titan only the third Solar System body where such storms have been observed
New technique could enable quantum computers to scale-up to millions of qubits
Systrom and Krieger taking time off "to explore our curiosity and creativity"
Comcast's £29.7bn winning bid more than twice the £13.7bn Rupert Murdoch valued Sky at just eight years ago