UK businesses and home users planning to buy Windows 7 will only be offered the cut-down version, Windows 7E, which removes Internet Explorer, to comply with EU restrictions.
If they wish to buy the new operating system, they will need to do so before the end of the year, or face a hefty price hike. No upgrades from previous Windows editions will be available in Europe.
European anti-monopoly authorities charged Microsoft with harming browser competition by illegally bundling Internet Explorer with its Windows operating system.
To comply, Microsoft will offer European customers a different version of Windows to the rest of the world, which will not come bundled with Internet Explorer. Hardware-manufacturers and customers will be given the choice of which internet browser they wish to install.
As a result, There will be no upgrade available in Europe. Users will have top buy a full edition of Windows 7E, which will offered at a discount until 31 December.