The U.S. Justice Department yesterday claimed that Microsoft will be making modifications to Windows that will give users the choice of removing links to Internet Explorer if they prefer an alternate Web browser. Users will also be able to remove links to Windows Media Player or Outlook Express in the same manner.

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."