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HP, Gateway: MS Seattlement terms screw us too

No it doesn't - MS

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Microsoft is seeking to have all patent claims waived by the top 20 PC vendors which license its operating system.

And it says the new terms and conditions are a direct consequence of the Seattlement terms which decree inter alia that Microsoft should offer uniform licenses to its major customers.

But the PC vendors - some of them, at any rate -are up in arms. By signing such a deal, they would give Microsoft free rein over their intellectual property, and supply MS with a very cheap way of expanding its hardware interests. The opposition of HP and Gateway, which say they will not sign the new contract is reported by IDG News Service's Joris Evers.

The information is contained in a new filing by the nine US states and the District of Columbia which continue to oppose the MS Seattlement.

"Microsoft took advantage of the opportunities presented by the language (of the proposed settlement) to adopt significantly more onerous licensing terms and to impose those on the (PC makers)," the states said in the filing, Evers reports.

And all 20 of the world's top PC vendors believe that Microsoft has benefited at their expense, the states throw in for good measure.

According to Microsoft, the states have misinterpreted its new patent-waiver provision, which has passed regulatory muster in the US and in Europe.

But then there's the small matter of HP and Gateway's opposition too, as well as the mighty Sony, the first major hardware vendor to come out in opposition to the MS Seattlement (Sony: MS already using Seattlement terms to screw us).

It will be interesting to see if any other PC manufacturers opposed to the deal are smoked out. We expect the split will come down between the technology innovators and the box shifters, with the latter camp backing Microsoft. ®

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