Microsoft will offer European customers an “Internet Pack” that includes IE8 when they buy a retail copy of Windows 7, which will be sold sans browser. There will be a Windows 7 Internet Pack available to consumers who buy the full packaged product, a Microsoft spokeswoman confirmed, talking about the various upgrade editions that will be sold to XP and Vista users.
The Windows 7 Internet Pack will also include Windows Live Essentials, said Matt Rosoff, an analyst at Directions on Microsoft who was briefed by Microsoft on its plans. “There’ll be some sort of display at retail,” said Rosoff, who added that retailers would either give away the Pack or charge a nominal fee to cover the cost of the media.
Even without a browser, Windows 7 users can download software via FTP by using the operating system’s file manager. In Windows Explorer, users can set up a new “network location” using a wizard-like tool, then specify an FTP server with the syntax “ftp://ftp.address.com,” such as “ftp.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla.org/firefox,” where Firefox is located.
No other browser maker has yet said it will offer its software to Windows 7 users via a similar program at retail, or by providing the browser free-of-charge on CD. Mozilla, however, currently sells a Firefox 3.0 CD for $4.59.