The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) confirmed on Thursday that it is widening its investigation of Microsoft Corporation. As a result, it has issued subpoenas to Web content providers that are developing for the Internet Explorer 4.0 Active Desktop, Windows NT 5.0, and Windows 98. The focus of the investigation centers around Microsoft's attempts to create a desktop monopoly through allegedly illegal means.

Currently, Microsoft offers prime desktop real estate to twelve content providers such as America Online, MSNBC, Disney, and Warner Brothers through a spot on the IE 4.0 Channel Bar. The DOJ has received complaints from hardware vendors who want to customize this Channel Bar with more appropriate selections for different markets. The default choices are not well suited for graphics users or educational installs, for example. Microsoft does not allow hardware vendors to remove or customize the Channel Bar in any way