Feeds

Microsoft Web contracts tougher than Gates claims

Story suggests Committee got inadequate answers

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

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
Bladerunner sequel might actually be good. Harrison Ford is in it
Go ahead, you're all clear, kid... Sorry, wrong film
Euro Parliament VOTES to BREAK UP GOOGLE. Er, OK then
It CANNA do it, captain.They DON'T have the POWER!
Musicians sue UK.gov over 'zero pay' copyright fix
Everyone else in Europe compensates us - why can't you?
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Megaupload overlord Kim Dotcom: The US HAS RADICALISED ME!
Now my lawyers have bailed 'cos I'm 'OFFICIALLY' BROKE
Forget Hillary, HP's ex CARLY FIORINA 'wants to be next US Prez'
Former CEO has political ambitions again, according to Washington DC sources
prev story

Whitepapers

10 ways wire data helps conquer IT complexity
IT teams can automatically detect problems across the IT environment, spot data theft, select unique pieces of transaction payloads to send to a data source, and more.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
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.
Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence
Download Choosing a Cloud Hosting Provider with Confidence to learn more about cloud computing - the new opportunities and new security challenges.