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Microsoft on the Issues
Microsoft has been in the news a lot lately with legal and government issues. If you're trying to keep track of all the action, read a chronology of events. Sift firsthand through an index of Microsoft's legal documents.

Read for yourself the facts regarding several controversial myths. Also, don't miss what other commentators have written.

News for the Week

Microsoft Complied with Court Order, according to filing today

In its filing today to Judge Jackson, Microsoft Corporation said it understood that it was required by the Court’s December 11, 1997 Order to give PC manufacturers the option of licensing Windows 95 without licensing or preinstalling any of what the Order defined as “Microsoft Internet browser software.”

Microsoft complied with the Order when it sent a December 15, 1997 letter to PC manufacturers.

As to Internet Explorer 4.0 technologies, the Justice Department does not dispute that the option Microsoft gave PC manufacturers of not shipping the latest version of Windows 95, called OEM Service Release 2.5, consti-tuted full compliance with the Court’s December 11, 1997 Order.

As to Internet Explorer 3.0 technologies, Microsoft gave PC manufacturers the following three licensing options:

  • (1) OEM Service Release 2, including all Internet Explorer 3.0 technologies;
  • (2) OEM Service Release 2 with “the software code that Microsoft itself now separately distributes at retail as Internet Explorer 3.0” removed, as the Justice Department had requested and the Court ordered; and
  • (3) the current retail version of Windows 95, which is the original build of the operating system, minus the files that comprise Internet Explorer 1.0 technologies.

Microsoft points out that the Government’s witness “could not identify any other list of files that Microsoft could or should have given computer manufac-turers the option of removing to comply with the Court’s December 11, 1997 Order.” With regard to the third option, Microsoft points out that the Justice Department put on no evidence at the hearing that such an option “did not constitute compliance with the Court’s December 11, 1997 Order.”

During last week’s hearing, the Justice Department argued that Microsoft should have offered PC manufacturers the option of merely running the Add/Remove Programs utility in Windows 95 to “uninstall” Internet Explorer 3.0 technologies. Microsoft notes that running that utility does both too little and too much. First, running the utility does not remove all Internet Explorer 3.0 technologies from Windows 95, which is what the Court ordered Microsoft to do. In fact, even after the utility is run, the remaining components of Windows 95 are still capable of providing full web browsing functionality, as Microsoft demonstrated at the hearing. Second, running the utility breaks several features of the operating system, including the Internet Connection Wizard and access software for the AT&T; WorldNet online information service.

Read today's filing

Landmark cooperation agreement signed with Chinese bank
Ballmer Visits China, Opens New Regional Support Center Ballmer Visits China, Opens New Regional Support Center

Steve Ballmer, Microsoft’s executive vice president for sales and support, was in Beijing and Shanghai last week meeting with customers, government officials and journalists. It was Ballmer’s first visit to Shanghai. On Monday, he spoke to 400 Solution Providers, channel partners and journalists about Microsoft’s worldwide partnership strategies.

Ballmer also witnessed the signing of a cooperation agreement between Microsoft and Shanghai PuDong Development Bank, the first Chinese bank to use the full line of Microsoft products.

Ballmer also hosted a ceremony opening Microsoft’s fifth Regional Support Center around the world, in Shanghai, on Tuesday. The center will increase the level of customer service in China by providing a full range of technical support services. Microsoft has invested nearly $10 million in the support center. Ballmer said that support centers have been a key factor in Microsoft’s success over the past 20 years because they help users of Microsoft software obtain a better understanding of products and enhance their ability to overcome difficult tasks. “With the establishment of this support center in Shanghai, Microsoft will be even more responsive in assisting and supporting Chinese users,” he said.

Gates and Gingrich Chat About Technology

Newt Gingrich and Bill Gates U.S. Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, visited with Bill Gates and various Microsoft executives on January 13, 1998 to learn more about Microsoft and the information technology industry.

The Speaker visited Microsoft as part of a multi-state tour during the current Congres-sional recess.

last updated: January 19, 1998
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