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Microsoft is to compensate Dutch web company Ilse Media because its AntiSpyware software blocked one of Ilse's portals, Startpagina ("Startpage").

Not too long ago Microsoft released a beta version of its anti spy software, which offers the choice of signing up for real-time protection. Windows AntiSpyware can monitor the PC and warns when unwanted software is installed.

Apparently, it also blocked Startpagina, one of the most popular directory pages in the Netherlands. Internet users that wanted to select Startpagina as their home page, were forced to use MSN.com instead.

Ilse wasn't amused: the company is a fierce competitor of MSN on the Dutch market. Although only a dozen internet users must have used Microsoft's software, Ilse threatened Microsoft with legal action. Microsoft told Dutch news site Planet Multimedia today it will pay Ilse €10.000 to compensate for legal costs, despite the fact that the bug has already been fixed in the new version of Windows AntiSpyware, which was released last week.

The incident may spark off a whole parade of court cases by web companies or even spyware merchants who believe that they are illegitimately expelled by Microsoft's anti spyware software. ®

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