Despite getting criticism from IE8 users Microsoft Changed its first run behavior after install to give user has the choice to select the option to set IE8 as the default browser if another browser already installed in your computer.
Till now if you run IE8 first time it gives option of express settings and custom settings where if you select express settings Internet Explorer will be made as the default browser.So if you run IE8 for first time you will now be presented with option to select IE8 as the default browser if there is already another browser installed in your Computer.
image credit:IE8 blog
According to blog entry posted in IE8 blog, Microsoft never tried to make Internet Explorer as the default browser with out users permission.
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