Daft news just in: Microsoft will ship Windows 7 without Internet Explorer as a sop to the EC's regulatory, ahem, concerns.

This is pretty stupid all round, forcing users to scratch around for a disk in order to get onto the internet. Surely it would have been better to make Microsoft pre-load a range of browsers and let consumers take their pick. After all, there can't be many people who buy a PC and then never visit the web.

Brussels has done a sound job in keeping Redmond up to the mark in recent years but an operating environment without a browser these days is like giving your kids a Nintendo DS for Christmas and telling them they can have the batteries in the new year*.

We have had this nonsense before about splash screens, home pages and the like. It's trivial window dressing and miles away from the very real, legitimate concerns over strongarm tactics of dominant incuments in any industry.

*Which I did, actually, but that was an accident and quite another story.