Microsoft backs down over IE8's default domination

20 Jul 2009

Tweaks to installation mean Internet Explorer 8 will not automatically set itself as the default browser

Internet Explorer 8 will no longer replace the default browser when a user selects the "Use express settings" option during installation.

Back in May, Mozilla and Opera accused Microsoft of force-feeding users Internet Explorer 8 through the Automatic Updates process.

The object of their ire was the "Use express settings" option which automatically sets Internet Explorer 8 as the default browser. The option was already ticked when Automatic Updates offered users the choice to upgrade their browser.

"We heard a lot of feedback from a lot of different people and groups and decided to make the user choice of the default browser even more explicit," notes Microsoft in a blog post.

Even selecting "Use express settings" will now bring up a window asking users if they want to set IE8 as their default.

The alteration to the installation process was applauded by rivals: "Good change: Microsoft does the right thing (finally) with IE8 updater," Mozilla's CEO, John Lilly, noted in a Twitter post.

The change follows Microsoft's decision to ship Windows 7 in Europe without a browser, as it looks to avoid an EU anti competition charges.

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