NEW YORK (CNNfn) - Where do you think Microsoft is going today?
A solid majority of online surfers told CNNfn Tuesday they believe Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates wants to control the Internet.
According to an unofficial poll conducted Tuesday, more than 59 percent of online respondents said they thought Gates was trying to monopolize the Internet and almost 56 percent said the government should do more to investigate the company.
The poll was based on more than 11,000 responses received over a nine hour period Tuesday.
The Justice Department in October filed a lawsuit against Microsoft, claiming the company was forcing computer makers to include its browser, Internet Explorer 4.0, with its Windows 95 software -- an operating system that is used by more than 90 percent of personal computers.
Under a 1995 consent decree, Microsoft is prohibited from imposing terms that could be considered monopolistic within the contracts with its vendors. But, the Redmond, Wash.-based company has contended the inclusion of a browser represents a further upgrade to an "integrated" product.
More than 59 percent of the respondents said they believed the government's investigation of Microsoft was warranted. But a much smaller percentage -- less than half -- said the company should be ordered to separate the browser from the operating system.
Similarly, slightly more than half of the respondents said Microsoft should not be ordered to provide a variety of browsers with its operating system software.
The responses seem to indicate users' satisfaction with Internet Explorer, even as they have doubts about Microsoft's intentions in regard to competition.
Microsoft's browser has substantially narrowed the gap with Netscape Communications Corp.'s Navigator and Communicator browser packages.
Meanwhile, an overwhelming majority of respondents to a separate poll conducted by MSNBC Tuesday determined that Microsoft isn't a monopoly and need not be checked by antitrust laws.
MSNBC asked readers: "Do you think Microsoft is a monopoly and thus must be checked by antitrust laws?"
Based on approximately 4,300 responses, 68 percent voted "no" while 29 percent voted "yes." About 3 percent couldn't decide.
-- by staff writer Robert Liu