The “Joint Status Report on Microsoft’s Compliance with the Final Judgments”, released last Friday in UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff, v. MICROSOFT CORPORATION, Defendant, states:
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Plaintiffs studied the new search feature in Internet Explorer 7 and discussed its implications with Microsoft months before it was included in the beta versions released to consumers. Internet Explorer 7 will include a new search box where users enter a query and then view the search results in the web browser using the selected search engine (e.g. Google, Yahoo, MSN Search, or a host of others). OEMs are allowed, under the Windows OPK, to set the default search engine when the machine is first sold to a user, and Internet Explorer 7 itself includes a relatively straightforward method for the user to select a different search engine from the initial system default. Recent news reports, however, have focused on the selection of the default search engine when a user upgrades an existing computer to Internet Explorer 7. Because Internet Explorer 6 does not contain such a prominent search engine box, in some cases the user or OEM may never have set a default search engine; in other cases, the OEM may have set the default search engine to Google, Yahoo, MSN Search, or another provider, or the user may have done so by installing one of the toolbars offered by these companies. In this upgrade situation, Internet Explorer 7 preserves the user's existing search engine default or else uses MSN Search if no default has been set. As Microsoft's implementation of the search feature respects users' and OEM's default choices and is easily changed, Plaintiffs have concluded their work on this matter.