Oddly enough, it requires something I think of as the "sneakernet".

Installing E editions of Windows 7

Windows 7 launches in the UK on the 22nd October and the main version sold within the UK will be the “E version”. This includes Windows 7 E Home Premium, Windows 7 E Professional, Windows 7 E Ultimate and Windows 7 E Starter editions. This version of Windows 7 (along with the N version) will not include a browser (for example: it will not come with Internet Explorer 8). We recommend therefore you have an Internet browser from Microsoft or from another software manufacturer saved onto a CD/DVD or another medium before you install Windows 7.

Step One: Back up your files and personal data

Step Two: Save your preferred browser (e.g Internet Explorer 8 or a browser from another software manufacturer)

Step Three: Install Windows 7

Step Four: Re-install your browser

Step Five: Re-install all your personal data

In step two, there is a link to the Internet Explorer 8 page on Microsoft.com (UK). This suggests strongly, then, that the normally downloadable version of IE 8 will install fine on Windows 7 E. I will have to test this.

There is one other bit of news here too:

N version will be available in some retailers and this is a version of Windows 7 which includes the same functionality as Windows 7 E, except that it does not include Windows Media Player and related technologies. Like Windows 7 E it does not include a browser (e.g Internet Explorer 8).

So the N editions don't include IE 8 either. Interesting. Good thing my book isn't done yet. Time to fix that. :)

Thanks to Mark S. for the link.