Downloading a browser in E, without a browser, in 3 steps

On October 22nd, the main version of Windows 7 to be sold, in the various EU-participating countries, will be Windows 7 “E”. What is this you ask? Windows 7 “E” is merely Windows 7 sans Internet Explorer, the EU’s OS of choice. Consumers will quickly discover, however, it’s a huge pain in the ass to download a browser of their choice… without a browser.

Mom and Dad will likely get a pre-built machine, by either a popular manufacturer or their kids, so this isn’t a problem for them. Us, on the other hand, are incredibly lazy. We won’t want to bend down and grab one of a million USB fobs. Or put yet another executable on our NAS. Or heaven forbid, waste a CD. We need something clever. This is one such clever.

Step 1 – Launch (and configure) Windows Media Player

Throughout the OS, you’ll find references to Windows Media Player. Click one of them. You’ll be welcomed by a wizard that takes a good five minutes to go through, if you don’t choose the Recommended option.

Step 2 – Search for your browser, using the Windows Media Guide

If it isn’t already on your screen, open the Windows Media Guide. You can do this by clicking the very large Media Guide button in the lower-left corner of Windows Media Player. In the upper-right corner of the Guide, type your browser of choice into the Search box. Purely for example purposes, cough, I typed “Firefox”.

Step 3 – Click an ad, download your browser

Upon completion of your search, you’ll be presented with some advertising. We’ll use this to our advantage to hop outside the cage we’re in. Pick an ad, click it. If it doesn’t take you to the manufacturers site in less than a few clicks, go back and pick a different ad. Eventually you’ll end up at the desired location with the binaries you need trickling down to your desktop.

For those that wish to download Internet Explorer, you can simply type the keyword IE8 or Opera. I’m serious.

Searching for the browser...after 

Figure 1, 2 -- Windows Media Player being used to search for and download Mozilla Firefox