Choosing Your Browser Defaults

When Web integration was first released in Windows 98, I was asked by literally hundreds of Windows users if they’d still be able to use Netscape (or any other Internet programs for that matter) when they upgraded. Even more prevalent was the angst surrounding the conception that users wouldn’t have any choice about the Internet integration—so much so that many people were reluctant to upgrade for that very reason. This is precisely the intention of the Internet integration—to suspend the myth that Microsoft software is the only choice.

The truth is that you do have a choice—not just for your default browser, but for all of the components that make up Internet integration and, indeed, all the components that make up your computer. The solutions in this chapter—and the rest of this book—will enable you to disable the options you don’t want, as well as customize the options you do want.

The more you understand the technology behind the tools you use and the motivation for their design, the better you can take advantage of the entire system. The Internet is only a conduit through which we communicate with the various software tools installed on our computers. Although Windows comes with Internet Explorer, Outlook Express, Telnet, FTP, and other such programs, it’s often desirable to use different programs, either from Microsoft or from a third-party manufacturer.

To take advantage of whatever programs you use, you’ll want to make sure that each is made ...

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