MS eases license restrictions to appease courts

— 8:54 PM on July 11, 2001

Now that the web browser competition is mostly dead, and now that the courts have found Microsoft solidly in violation of US anti-trust laws, word comes from Redmond that they will be easing Windows license terms for PC manufacturers. The new rules will allow PC makers to place icons of their choosing on a PC desktop and Start Menu. Also, Internet Explorer will become an installable "Add/Remove Programs" option rather than—could it be possible?—a tightly integrated part of the Windows OS.

Analysts seem to like the move, because it may deflect attempts by state attorneys general to prevent Windows XP from shipping while the browser integration issue remained unsettled. No word from Ballmer and the gang about decoupling their Windows Media "innovations" from WinXP, though.

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