European buyers of Windows 7 will have to download and install a web browser for themselves.
Bowing to European competition rules, Microsoft Windows 7 will ship without Internet Explorer.
The company said it would make it easy for PC makers and users to get at and install the web browsing program.
In response Brussels expressed scepticism over the move and whether it went far enough to ally accusations of it abusing its market position.
“We’re committed to making Windows 7 available in Europe at the same time that it launches in the rest of the world,” Dave Heiner, said Microsoft deputy general counsel in a statement, “but we also must comply with European competition law as we launch the product.”
“We believe that this new approach, while not our first choice, is the best path forward given the ongoing legal case in Europe,” he added.
In response the European Commission said “It would also have to consider whether this initial step of technical separation of IE from Windows could be negated by other actions by Microsoft.”
In early 2008, Microsoft was fined 899m euros (£765m) by the European Commission for anti-competitive behaviour over bundling in the media player and browser into Windows.