Feeds

Microsoft attaches strings to XP desktop real estate giveaway

MSN not negotiable

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Microsoft has backtracked on its concessions to free OEMs of restrictions, reopening one of the sores exposed in the AntiTrust case.

The Appeals Court upheld the prosecution's case that Microsoft had acted anti-competitively in restricting ISPs choice of browser.

This time, Microsoft has reimposed conditions on OEMs who want to allow MSN rivals equal access to the Windows desktop. PC vendors will be permitted to promote icons for third party ISPs only if MSN is included too.

Late Friday Compaq announced it had taken advantage of Microsoft's death bed conversion to openness a fortnight ago. The Beast decreed that Internet Explorer could be de-installed, and vowed not to impose OEM restrictions on the Windows desktop and boot-up sequence. Subsequently Compaq agreed to give AOL, which is desperate to maintain some screen real estate in the post-XP world, exclusive position on Compaq XP PCs.

Microsoft has confirmed that it's not going to sanction such arrangements, reopening the issue of anti-competitive tying.

It's such a flagrant provocation to its critics, our first reaction that this was another restriction that Microsoft could generously "withdraw" a few days later. But there are signs that it's serious about fighting it to the death. In a nauseating press conference on Friday, Windows product boss Jim Allchin - after describing how his Mom had weeped real tears of joy at the ease of use features in Windows XP (we kid you not) - said that Microsoft would fight arrangements such as Compaq's because they reduced choice for the customer.

PC OEMs can be expected to fight equally hard.

At stake, as ever, is where Microsoft's responsibility over the "end user experience" ends and where the OEM's begins. Microsoft gives precious little opportunity for OEMs to develop their own branding - you'll always boot a "Windows" PC with a Windows look and feel, and never for example an HP PC with an HP look and feel - effectively relegating the OEMs to the role of box shifters. PC OEMs are chaffing at the bit to develop their own branding, and if they can succeed in forcing a crack - an icon or two onto Whistler - they'll be hoping the whole dam will break behind it. &Reg;

Related Story

AOL-Time Warner first in there following MS step-down

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
Sway: Microsoft's new Office app doesn't have an Undo function
Content aggregation, meet the workplace ... oh
Sign off my IT project or I’ll PHONE your MUM
Honestly, it’s a piece of piss
Return of the Jedi – Apache reclaims web server crown
.london, .hamburg and .公司 - that's .com in Chinese - storm the web server charts
NetWare sales revive in China thanks to that man Snowden
If it ain't Microsoft, it's in fashion behind the Great Firewall
Chrome 38's new HTML tag support makes fatties FIT and SKINNIER
First browser to protect networks' bandwith using official spec
Admins! Never mind POODLE, there're NEW OpenSSL bugs to splat
Four new patches for open-source crypto libraries
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
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.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.