Microsoft under siege by AOL-led coalition?

Windows XP's product activation scheme is not the only thing getting people het up. The Register is reporting that AOL and some OEMs may be plotting a conspiracy against Microsoft.
AOL is considering what amounts to all out war on Microsoft and Windows XP, according to a document obtained by Betanews, which has been getting its hands on some corkers of late. If genuine the document is an AOL internal strategy memo listing "response scenarios" to XP. Practically all of them are seriously hardball, and at their most extreme they'd add up to recruiting an OEM coalition to topple Microsoft from the desktop while destabilising the XP rollout.

Given the nature of XP and .NET, AOL's fears are justified. They present "a significant risk to the AOL franchise. By integrating and embedding traditonal AOL functionality (e.g. email, IM, chat, wallet, calendar, address book, web browsing, content aggregation, media players, etc) into the OS and .NET initiative, Microsoft is essentially absorbing much of the AOL client based functionality into the OS... The risk exists that the consumer... will simply use the default Microsoft solutions."

Proposed solutions in the memo include an alternative or modified MS operating system?! Hmm...a world where you have to choose between Microsoft and AOL. I wonder if the devil you know isn't better than the devil you don't know. BetaNews provides more coverage and commentary here. Thanks go out to rand for the tips.
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