Britain’s first step in the country’s grand plan to move all government-related services onto the Internet has resulted in a virtual lockout for users who do not run Microsoft software.

The British Government Gateway site, developed by Microsoft, will eventually be the main access point to 200 central government and nearly 500 local government institutions.

But only those who are using Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.1 can access all of the site’s services at the present time, a situation that some said is proof that Microsoft cannot play well with others.

Microsoft denies the allegation that it has created a Microsoft-only site.