Monopolies clash over icons

— 12:23 PM on July 31, 2001

Wired has the goods on the latest spat between Microsoft and AOL. This time, it's over icon exclusivity on the XP desktop. While you can give XP a pretty bare desktop, if you want to add an icon for an ISP like AOL, you also must add one for Microsoft's MSN service. Rounds have been fired from Microsoft:

"AOL clearly has a self interest in trying to raise controversy over this," he said. "They're trying to deflect attention from the fact that they're paying people to hide MSN. When you first start up XP, you get a screen that says 'Would you like Internet access?' AOL is paying computer makers not to have MSN included as an option. That is unprecedented and a clear blow to consumer choice."
... and a former Compaq attorney:
"You could say the Internet browser's an integral part of the computing experience," he said. "But with something like a wholly separate Internet service like MSN you have hardly any argument that it's part of the operating system."
Personally, I can't understand why anyone would want to use either AOL or MSN. They're both junk.
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