I've just discovered my product key is embedded in the BIOS and so I presume I cannot use it to install 8.1 on another PC so if this PC dies I have a useless W8.1 license!
You're Windows 8 license will be an OEM version , that means it can only legally be used on the hardware it was shipped with.
Why shouldn't Windows ship with its own browser, if you don't like it install something else, I'm sure Macs ship with Safari preinstalled, yet the EU didn't put a stop to that!
I use Start 8 on my laptop where I chose to install W8.
It sounds to me that you'd already decided W8 was rubbish and just wanted a good moan about it, although I do agree it was a huge mistake by MS not to leave the original start button in, and have an option to boot to desktop.