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Site owner won't charge IE users

The Internet Explorer boycott by the Official Lost & Found Web site is over, for now.

The great Internet Explorer boycott has ended, for now.

The founder of the Official Lost & Found Web site said today he has stopped charging IE 4.0 users for its service now that Microsoft and the Justice Department have reached a settlement of contempt charges. (See related story)

Lost & Found founder Gordon French, who until recently ran his site as a free public service, last week began charging IE 4.0 users a $4 fee to protest what he called Microsoft's "monopolistic tendencies." The site helps people match lost-and-found items with their rightful owners.

Since last week, two IE users paid to find their lost items: a piece of sports equipment and jewelry, French said. When the DOJ and Microsoft announced their settlement yesterday, however, he returned the money and called off his "boycott."

"At this point, given the progress we've seen with the DOJ case, we think it's a good idea to hold off," French said. "But this desire to charge some users and not others could change from time to time, depending upon the current state of Microsoft."

Since news of his boycott surfaced last week, French said has received a flood of email, more than two-thirds of it pro-Microsoft. "That's not the reason for my change of heart," ne noted. "It's OK for people to be pro-Microsoft, but I don't know if those are people who have an affiliation with Microsoft or if they just like it because it's an American company."