Educators turning on new Windows computers in the coming months could see important new changes, including prominent links for programs such as music and internet software from some of Microsoft Corp.'s biggest corporate rivals.

But a court's Nov. 1 decision not to impose tougher penalties than those negotiated with the Bush administration means Microsoft's flagship operating system will remain mostly unadulterated as the engine for the technology industry and for the company's own extraordinary profits.

In an enormous victory for Microsoft, U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly approved only...

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