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Microsoft agrees to alter XP because of concerns.


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Microsoft Corp. has agreed to make modifications to its Windows XP operating system to address new antitrust concerns that traces of programs that consumers choose to hide still appear on their computer screens, the U.S. Justice Department said Wednesday.

Microsoft will give users the choice of removing links to Internet Explorer if they prefer an alternate Web browser. In the same way, the company also will let consumers choose wheather they want to remove links to programs such as Windows Media Player or the Outlook Express e-mail program.

Under the agreement, an icon for the new default browser "will replace the Internet Explorer icon in the commonly used parts of the operating system when Internet Explorer is not the default Web browser," Justice Department antitrust enforcers said in a court filing.

"Compliance continues to be of paramount importance to us," said Stacy Drake, a Microsoft spokeswoman. "We are acting quickly and constructively to address these questions."

Also on Wednesday, European regulators said they would examine Microsoft's latest proposal for complying with a March 2004 antitrust order.

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