Microsoft Changes Browser Settings to Avoid U.S. Antitrust Issues

Lora Bentley

From patent litigation to antitrust issues, I can't get away from Microsoft in the news today.


Apparently an attorney representing plaintiffs in the antitrust litigation that was settled six years ago was "troubled" that the company was making Internet Explorer 8 the default browser on machines whose users had selected the express install. The New York Times reports that Steven Houck raised his concerns at an antitrust settlement compliance hearing recently.


Microsoft quickly made the changes upon hearing the complaints, according to company attorney Charles "Rick" Rule, who is quoted in the story. "This is another example when we try to listen to feedback," he said. "When good comments are made that affect consumers, we're ready to make those changes."


Now users are asked whether they want to make IE 8 their default browser, whether they choose a custom install or the express option. When similar concerns were raised in Europe, Microsoft opted to use a "browser ballot" with which users could choose their preferred browser during the installation process.

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