Microsoft zet zichzelf weer eens voor paal in de rechtzaal.
A Microsoft demonstration of how easy it is for OEMs to customise the Windows desktop shown yesterday was in breach of Microsoft's OEM licensing agreements. Or at least, it was if the OEM isn't one of a handful of top PC manufacturers.
Microsoft showed the video to accompany the testimony of OEM licensing chief Joachim Kempin, who argued earlier this week (Kempin testimony) that Microsoft's OEM customers have a great deal of freedom to install whatever software they like on their machines. The vast majority of Microsoft OEM customers do not however have this degree of flexibility in their contracts.
The fact that some OEMs have secured this flexibility is itself an issue in the antitrust case. In the months before the DoJ filed against Microsoft, the company relaxed the terms of some of its contracts. Permission to modify the online services folder, for example, was initially granted to Gateway, and then extended to other companies, although Microsoft had initially said that Gateway was a 'special case.' This is not quite how Kempin puts it in his written testimony. In spring of last year, he says, Microsoft allowed seven companies, "Acer, Compaq, Dell, Gateway 2000, Hewlett-Packard, IBM and Packard Bell/NEC) to make two modifications to the initial Windows 98 startup sequence … Microsoft permitted these seven OEMs to replace the registration wizard in the initial Windows 98 boot sequence with products that provide a single unified end user experience and register the customer jointly with both the OEM and Microsoft … Second, Microsoft permitted these seven OEMs to add their own software for customers to sign-up for Internet access with one or more ISPs selected by the OEMs and to have that software run automatically prior to any customer opportunity to use the standard Internet Connection Wizard feature of Window 98."
En hier heb ik het gevonden.