'I may have misunderstood what these articles are saying'
I think you have.
My understanding of the Windows 7 'E' packs is that there will be no browser at all or even a Mail program.
The links you provide, in my opinion, refer to installations that will be allowed to contain IE8 (non 'E') but will allow you to make the decision to set it as default or leave your existing, alternative browser as default.
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