Feeds

Secret evidence III: 'give in or we'll audit you' – MS

The evidence begins to move beyond the anodyne

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

MS on Trial The en clair information in the first version of the von Holle deposition that was released by Gateway was about James von Holle's background; there was also a plug to the effect that Gateway bears the cost of customer support; a few lines of description of Gateway's Destination system; with the remainder concerned with the administrative arrangements of the deposition. Ripping stuff, no? Version two of the deposition reveals that von Holle contradicted himself a number of times, for example as to whether Gateway would like to see a choice of OS vendors. He was pressed as to why Gateway wanted to have the IE icon removed after the user had decided which browser to use - which Microsoft would not allow. It seemed very strange that there was no consideration given to the desirability of having quite a few browsers, but evidently Gateway's customers seem to include a high percentage of newbies. Perhaps von Holle's explanation of a desire to avoid confusion between browsers has some merit, but a more likely story is Gateway's desire to differentiate itself. There was also the issue of trying to reduce the cost of calls from confused punters. A Gateway response to a DoJ Interrogatory said: "With regard to communications regarding Gateway's installation of products of software manufacturers other than Microsoft, after Gateway began offering Netscape Navigator, a competitive browser product, with its systems, Microsoft representatives repeatedly told Gateway representatives that Microsoft considers Gateway's offer of the competitive product a 'serious' issue that would "affect our working relationship". This is a very stark threat from a company that would like to think it is mature enough to attract enterprise business. A further little gem was seen in an email copied to von Holle concerning the strained relationship between Gateway and Microsoft: "In addition, when Gateway elected to use Netscape Navigator as the browser on its Intranet, Microsoft representatives again strenuously objected. In fact, Microsoft representatives strongly implied to Troy Miller of Gateway that Microsoft would compensate Gateway for its 'investment with Netscape' if Gateway would 'remove the Netscape browser and replace it with IE.'" An unpleasant threat was that "In addition, Microsoft representatives threatened that Microsoft would audit Gateway's internal use of Microsoft products and, contrary to a verbal agreement between executives of the companies, Microsoft would charge Gateway a royalty for each copy of an Microsoft product used at a Gateway facility." Gateway's main sin, in Microsoft's eyes, was to encourage users to choose which browser they preferred, with Microsoft of course wanting the possibility of a choice to be suppressed. We also learn that "Dell turned Netscape down" because they did not want to hurt their relationship with Microsoft, and received "special things" as a result. There was just one funny moment to do with what Gateway called a registration button for gateway.com (and which Microsoft evidently regarded as an icon that made it less likely that users would sign up with MSN or a tame Microsoft-approved ISP). The external name was the Internet registration button but internally, Gateway called this as the BAB - the Big Ass Button. ® Related stories Gateway exec's secret MS evidence Bringing Gateway to heel Complete Register Trial coverage

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Special pleading against mass surveillance won't help anyone
Protecting journalists alone won't protect their sources
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Apple's iPhone 6 first-day sales are MEANINGLESS, mutters analyst
Big weekend queues only represent fruity firm's supply
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Bill Gates, drugs and the internet: Top 10 Larry Ellison quotes
'I certainly never expected to become rich ... this is surreal'
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
EMC, HP blockbuster 'merger' shocker comes a cropper
Stand down, FTC... you can put your feet up for a bit
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.