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!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
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



Victorinox Werks Professional Executive 17 Laptop Case

Learn more >

Sansai 6-Outlet Power Board + 4-Port USB Charging Station

Learn more >



Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?