NEC Corp. will remove Microsoft Corp.'s Internet Explorer icon from the Windows 95 desktop of its Versa notebooks.
NEC is the first PC maker to take advantage of a January agreement between Microsoft and the U.S. Department of Justice. The agreement allowed computer makers to "hide" the IE icon, while leaving all the files intact.
NEC's D.J. Anderson said many of the company's corporate customers want to purchase notebooks without IE, and previously had been required to do the removal themselves.
"A lot of our commercial customers... the first thing they do when they get the notebook is blow out the hard drive," Anderson said. "Then they go back and reinstall everything because they don't want all their users to have the IE icon. So in rebuilding their hard drives, they leave out some key utilities, call us for tech support, and it's just a support nightmare. So this just simplifies the process and gives them a choice."
NEC will now include IE4 and Netscape Communicator version 4 on a CD-ROM that ships with the Versa notebooks.
Last week, Gateway said that it will give some buyers the option of installing either IE or Navigator as the default browser when they first set up their Windows 98 machine.
But NEC said that when it begins selling notebooks with Windows 98 starting in July, the IE icon will go back on to the desktop. A Microsoft spokesperson said that while PC makers are free to add whatever icons they wish to the Windows 98 desktop, they are not at liberty to remove the shortcut to IE4.
NEC said it will continue to offer Netscape's browser on a separate CD-ROM with Windows 98 systems.