Microsoft to change start menu in Windows

Microsoft Corp. has agreed to reposition a program in the Windows XP start menu, allowing users to more easily set non-Microsoft software as their default choices, as part of the company's antitrust settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice.

Microsoft has agreed to make the Set Program Access and Defaults icon more prominent in the Windows XP start menu, said Jim Desler, a Microsoft spokesman. The program allows users to change their default software, including browsers and media players not made by Microsoft.

Microsoft believed the old positioning of Set Program Access and Defaults in the start menu complied with an antitrust consent degree, approved by U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly in November, Desler said, but the company agreed to change the positioning in a "spirit of cooperation" with the DOJ.

Mike Pettit, president of the anti-Microsoft trade group ProComp, or the Project to Promote Competition and Innovation in the Digital Age, said Windows XP users could always move icons in the start menu, but now Microsoft "wants credit for that."

"It's a big charade," Pettit said of the change. "It's competitively meaningless."

With the change, Set Program Access and Defaults will appear in the main start menu, instead of one level down under the programs menu. Some original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) also included Set Program Access and Defaults in the start menu's "most frequently used" section, but it could disappear from there if it wasn't one of the user's most frequently used programs, Desler said.

Desler said he wasn't sure when the change would happen. The change "gives the user more efficiency in terms of choice," he added.

The Set Program Access program was included last year in the Windows XP Service Pack 1 released last year, but ProComp and other competitors complained that it wasn't prominent enough in the Windows XP start menu.

The DOJ wouldn't comment on this specific change, instead releasing a statement saying it "works constructively with Microsoft to address issues that arise in this process."

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
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

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?