New York - As a direct result of the anti-trust proceedings directed against Microsoft, the company reported yesterday that PC vendors will have more flexibility in how they handle the Microsoft-supplied software that is bundled with the Windows operating system.
The move was in repsonse to findings by the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C. that some of the Microsoft Windows licensing requirements were improper, said Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO. The changes will be implemented with Microsoft's new XP operating system and are not expected to effect the Oct. 25 launch of Windows XP. However, the operating system will require some alterations.
The concessions are:
- PC manufacturers will have the option to remove the start menu entries and icons that provide end users with access to the Internet Explorer components of the operating system. Microsoft will include Internet Explorer in the add/remove programs feature in Windows XP.
- PC manufacturers will have the option to remove the start menu entries and icons that provide end users with access to Internet Explorer from previous versions of Windows, including Windows 98, Windows 2000 and Windows Me.
- PC manufacturers will retain the option of putting icons directly onto the Windows desktop. Based on extensive customer usability studies, Microsoft had designed Windows XP to ship with a clean desktop and improved start menu, but PC manufacturers will now have the option of continuing to place icons on the Windows desktop if they wish.
- Consumers will be able to use the add/remove programs feature in Windows XP to remove end-user access to the Internet Explorer components of the operating system. Microsoft has always made it easy for consumers to delete the icons for Internet Explorer, but will now offer consumers this additional option in Windows XP.
"This announcement does not take the place of settlement discussions with the government parties or any future steps in the legal process; however, we wanted to take immediate steps in light of the court's ruling. We are hopeful that we can work with the government parties on the issues that remain after the court's ruling," Ballmer said.