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IE6 forcing Bing as default search engine

Microsoft says it's a bug and it is investigating the problem, but that later versions of its browser are not affected.

Microsoft confirmed on Tuesday that it is looking into an issue in which users of Internet Explorer 6 are forced into having Bing as their default search engine.

"We are aware of the issue with Bing on machines running IE6 and are investigating a solution," Microsoft said in a statement. "This issue is not impacting IE7 and IE8 users."

Although it is only affecting its older browser, many people still use IE6 and Microsoft has faced a lot of regulatory scrutiny over how default search preferences are set and changed within Internet Explorer.

The issue crops up just as Microsoft plans to formally launch Bing. Among its planned promotions is a huge ad campaign as well as an event Tuesday night at Seattle's Space Needle.

The IE6 issue was noted earlier on Tuesday by Search Engine Land.