Feeds

Microsoft Web contracts tougher than Gates claims

Story suggests Committee got inadequate answers

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

A year ago Posted 30th March 1998 Bill Gates may have misled the Senate Judiciary Committee in his testimony earlier this month, according to this morning's New York Times. The Times quotes from a Microsoft Web partner contract passed to it by an anonymous industry executive, saying that the partner should promote Internet Explorer exclusively on its home page "and any other pages where similar promotions are placed." This could clearly be interpreted as locking out NetScape by stopping NetScape being engaged in "similar promotions," but a further section seems even more conclusive: [the partner] agrees that neither it nor its affiliates will directly or indirectly license or otherwise authorise distribution, transmission, marketing or promotion in the territory of company content or logos by companies which produce other browsers." Talking to the Judiciary Committee, on the other hand, Gates claimed that any contractual restrictions were limited to the partner company's home page, and that NetScape could be promoted anywhere else on the site. It took the committee quite some while to nail him down even to this extent, but if the Times document is genuine it seems he wasn't nailed down quite hard enough. The problem here is probably that old Microsoft one, meaning. The company's stance is that any restrictions it places on its partners in its contracts are minor, reasonable ones designed with reasonable goals in mind. If for example a magazine ran an article about NetScape with an advertisement for Explorer opposite, one of the companies (we're not sure which) would be pretty angry. But even if Microsoft's intentions are perfectly reasonable and genuine, what Microsoft's contracts actually say, and the way its partners may interpret them, is a different matter. If you get this kind of stuff coming onto your desk whenever you renew a contract, then slowly but surely (or even fairly quickly) you're going to get the impression that not getting too enthusiastic about Microsoft's competitors is a smart idea, if you want to carry on doing business with Microsoft. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
In the next four weeks, 100 people will decide the future of the web
While America tucks into Thanksgiving turkey, the world will be taking over the net
Microsoft EU warns: If you have ties to the US, Feds can get your data
European corps can't afford to get complacent while American Big Biz battles Uncle Sam
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.