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MS hits trouble with another video

For some reason it wanted to prove Net signup was faster in 98 than Windows 3.1...

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MS on Trial US DoJ attorney David Boies has destabilised a second Microsoft demo video, after he pointed out another of those pesky little discrepancies. Boies left Microsoft's case bleeding heavily last week after demolishing Jim Allchin's demo video (see MS screws up video remake), and although this time around even Boies doesn't think the problems are "terribly critical", the latest problem certainly doesn't help... Given Microsoft's apparent difficulty in getting its people to make videos that just inform, rather than selling product, it now seems highly unlikely that MS is going to get a credible video into the court without sending the whole marketing crew off to a re-education camp. The latest video was presented by Internet Customer Unit VP Cameron Myhrvold, and was intended to show how much easier it was for a user to sign up to the Internet using a Windows 98 machine, rather than a Windows 3.1 one. The choice of platforms was eccentric, to say the least -- considering the amount of easy Internet sign-up real estate Microsoft has added to Windows since the days of 3.1 one would expect getting onto the Internet to be a breeze, comparatively. And of course quite a bit of this sign-up real estate is subject to what you might call certain contractual arrangements, so the Myhrvold demo could have provided grist to the DoJ's mill in other areas. Boies main query however was simply over the speed of the modems the two machines used. Signing up took five minutes on the Windows 98 machine, and 17 minutes on the older one. The 98 machine had a faster modem, but not significantly, claimed Myrhvold, saying that this only accounted for 22 seconds of the difference. So if you were thinking he was using 300 baud in the interests of retro authenticity forget it -- it was a 28.8 versus a 33.6. The major speed difference was accounted for by offline actions. Strange but true, Myhrvold appears to have been demonstrating that with windows 3.1 you had to load a bunch of Internet access stuff, TCP/IP and the like, onto the machine before you could surf the Web. QED, because later versions of Windows have all of this stuff preinstalled, Microsoft is good for consumers. ® Complete Register trial coverage

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