- Dec 29, 2019
They did not have.
They were forced to launch a EU exclusive version of Windows XP with these options.
Late they where forced to change in US too.
Just to be clear it is not the default app to open HTML files but the default option as browser in the system.
You could choose your own default browser in Windows 98, Start > Settings > Folder Options > File Types > Html
Obviously when you booted a clean system with just IE installed IE was the default, but you always had the freedom to change that when an alternative was installed. OEMs weren't allowed to preset this to something else, the user had to do it, which regulators understandably took issue with.