Microsoft has released the final beta of Windows 98 this week butem. insisted that the investigation by the Department of Justice (DoJ) has no bearing on the bundling of internet functionality with the operating environment.
The beta was being distributed in the US and the same procedure will shortly take place in the UK. The UK version incorporates Internet Explorer into the interface and comes ready with content channels, including the BBC, BSkyB, Financial Times, Virgin Net and the New Scientist. A panel at the bottom of screen includes a direct link to Internet Explorer and the channels available as an integral part of the environment.
A Microsoft representative said: 'The whole of the current court proceedings are based around the 1994 consent agreement (with the DoJ). The whole argument is about Windows 95. Microsoft is fighting this battle on the Windows 95 front but these arguments do not affect Windows 98.'
He added that John Frank, Microsoft senior corporate attorney for Europe, was on record as saying the company was going forward with plans for Windows 98 but was 'mindful of the US courts'.
Microsoft insisted it was still on target to release the complete operating environment in the second half of this year.
Meanwhile, a report by Inteco showed that sales of Microsoft's browser, Internet Explorer, had surpassed its rival Netscape Navigator. The survey, conducted in October 1997 questioned 6,000 users, and showed that Internet Explorer had gained ground in a short space of time (see table).
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