MS to change IE default in music feature

Microsoft will change its "Shop for Music Online" feature in Windows XP so that it does not automatically invoke the Internet Explorer (IE) Web browser, thus complying with a U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) mandate.

The DOJ had complained that this use of IE violated the company's antitrust consent decree with the government.

Currently when an XP user selects Shop for Music Online, located by default in the My Music folder, Microsoft's IE browser pops up and directs the user to Microsoft's Windowsmedia.com site, even if the user has chosen a different default browser such as Netscape or Opera. Windowsmedia.com includes music for downloading and links to online music retailers.

Microsoft had already planned to change the feature as it revamped its Shop for Music Online offering for "business reasons," said Stacy Drake, a company spokeswoman. A Windows update released in February or March will remove IE as the music service's default browser, she said.

Further revamps of the music service Web site are in the works, Drake said. In November, Microsoft announced it was planning to launch its own music download service during 2004.

The Shop for Music Online feature had been a point of contention between Microsoft and the DOJ since late last year. Government lawyers had complained to a judge that the feature could be "inconsistent" with the antitrust settlement approved by a federal court in November 2002.

"While we differed in our interpretation of the consent decree, we are pleased the changes we'll be making also address government concerns," Drake said."It's an issue that's resolved to the satisfaction of both parties."

Asked if the decision to revamp the music service and change the default browser came after DOJ complaints, Drake said she wasn't sure if the decision was made after the complaint or simultaneously. The decision was "on a separate track" from the DOJ complaint, she added.

The DOJ issued a statement Thursday saying it was pleased with Microsoft's decision to remove IE as the default browser, even if Microsoft did not agree with the agency that the music feature violated the consent decree. "Regardless of the reason for the change, the Department is pleased with the removal of the override and firmly believes that it is the appropriate outcome," the DOJ statement said.

Microsoft's music site was built using ActiveX controls optimized for use with IE, Drake said. The revamped site will use a different programming technology, although she declined to name it.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Grant Gross

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?