The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Microsoft will change music link that forces its browser on users "Microsoft agreed to a government demand that it eliminate a feature of its Windows XP operating system that overrides competitors' Web browsers, the Justice Department said.
Microsoft will change the "Shop for Music Online" function of its operating system so that competitors' browsers won't be overridden by Microsoft's Internet Explorer, the Justice Department said in Washington. The Windows operating system runs about 95 percent of the world's personal computers."
At first this looks like a serious "What were they thinking?!" instance, especially given the scrutiny of anything MS does that even remotely looks like a power play, but, as a former product manager, I can also understand how the Windows client team wanted to ensure that the "Shop for Music Online" service would actually work, something they'd be unable to guarantee if users specified a different default browser.