Windows 7: How do you get a browser without a browser?

It’s a good question…

How do you install a browser when you don’t have a browser? The news that Windows 7 won’t include Internet Explorer in Europe has caused an outbreak of head-scratching – especially among those of us whose routers need a browser window to configure our connections in the first place.






0 responses to “Windows 7: How do you get a browser without a browser?”

  1. Stephen

    You could type “ftp” into the search field, and then “open” at the ftp prompt…

  2. mupwangle

    Assuming you don’t get connection refused (which you do) – surely you would need some rudimentary knowledge of using command-line ftp.

  3. Surely they’d just include it with a bunch of other utilities (3rd party & otherwise) called Extras or something like what Apple would. ie. Seperate from the OS installation?

    Or am I missing something.

  4. Stephen

    Assuming you don’t get connection refused (which you do) – surely you would need some rudimentary knowledge of using command-line ftp.

    Sorry, that should have been ‘open’

    Although I agree that you would need to know how to use ftp, Gary’s question was ‘how do you install a browser when you don’t have a browser?’ and ‘using ftp’ is a viable answer. Agreed that it won’t help much if your router needs a browser to configure it ;-) But then you should only be running Windows 7 on Parallels, so just use the browsers installed under OS X!

  5. You wouldn’t need FTP knowledge if Microsoft built in a few handy FTP scripts.

    Still doesn’t solve the modem-configuration problem, though.

    I reckon David’s right, and you’ll be able to use the fact that Windows explorer can render HTML. They’ll just have to be really careful about how they configure it so that it isn’t technically a browser. App design by lawyers: great.

    I have to say, Netscape really piss me off. If they’d worked on their damn browser instead of whining and running to the Feds about the terrible injustice of facing competition, we wouldn’t have these problems.

    Not that I do have these problems, of course, as I’m using the same workaround as Stephen: OSX.

  6. Uh, did I miss something? They’ll bundle the setups.

    How do you install a browser when you don’t have a browser?

    The same way I install the trial of AOL or Norton that came with my new PC–an executable that is placed on my disc but isn’t executed until I run it.

    Better yet, the executable downloads and executes a hosted setup.exe in a current-version directory, guaranteeing that the user gets the most recent version of whatever browser they chose.

  7. To be clear, the EU Commission haven’t decided merely that Microsoft can’t build IE into Windows; they’ve ordained that Microsoft cannot use their market position to unfairly outcompete other browser manufacturers. I seriously doubt that they’ll consider that Windows coming with a big “Click here to install IE” icon sitting on the desktop abides by that ruling.

  8. mupwangle

    I think that it was the EU commission that suggested the choice on install.

  9. Really? ‘Cause I’ve seen it mentioned that they’re already making noises indicating that that might not be acceptable. Not that that contradicts you: it would be entirely unsurprising for the Commission to give out mixed messages.

    If they do go for a click-to-install thing, that’ll be insane. Massive amounts of public money spent on years of deliberation and negotiation just so that Windows comes with IE almost installed instead of installed. Tsk.

  10. mupwangle

    I think they asked that the user be presented with a list on install, rather than just IE.

    Seems daft really.

  11. Gary

    Danny, the bundling thing was an EU suggestion that Microsoft isn’t happy about: rather than a welcome screen that, say, gives users the choice of IE, Firefox or Opera, Microsoft has said “fuck you all!” and removed the browser altogether.

  12. Andi

    maybe apple should do a one time aol and blanket all the retailers and mags with a safari install disc, that’d serve micro$oft right

    they could stick in an osx demo into the bargain, meaning of course, this is what you could/should bought

  13. Squander Two

    Since all these browsers are given away free, why exactly is there so much competition between them anyway? Do they make money? If so, how?

  14. Gary

    Firefox, opera and safari get revenues from google search boxes.

  15. Squander Two


  16. Gary

    It’s not just that, though. Browser is essentially becoming the OS.

  17. I lost five hours yesterday to getting PNGs to display in IE7 for Vista. Because Quicktime overrides the file type. Naturally. Ever have one of those days that leaves you feeling like Father Jack Hackett?