Microsoft Announces Greater OEM Flexibility for Windows

REDMOND, Wash., July 11, 2001 — Microsoft Corp. announced Wednesday that it is offering computer manufacturers greater flexibility in configuring desktop versions of the Microsoft® Windows® operating system in light of the recent ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. The company said the changes would not affect the Oct. 25 launch date of Windows XP.

“We recognize that some provisions in our existing Windows licenses have been ruled improper by the court, so we are providing computer manufacturers with greater flexibility and we are doing this immediately so that computer manufacturers can take advantage of them in planning for the upcoming release of Windows XP,”
said Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft.
“Windows XP represents a revolutionary step forward in personal computing, and computer manufacturers and consumers are looking forward to this product with great anticipation.”

“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 added.

The appeals court ruled that certain provisions in Microsoft’s licenses with PC manufacturers impaired the distribution of third-party Web browsers. Microsoft will now provide PC manufacturers with the following new flexibility:

  • 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 want to.

  • 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.

Although some of these changes will require development work and testing for Windows XP, Microsoft said Wednesday it can complete the work and will be able to meet the date for worldwide launch on Oct. 25.

Computer industry leaders today underscored the importance of the launch of Windows XP to the PC industry and consumers.

“We’re very excited about the possibilities that Windows XP delivers to our customers,”
said Ted Waitt, co-founder and CEO of Gateway.
“With this new flexibility, we’re looking forward to taking Windows XP to the next level, tailoring technology to meet our customers’ needs.”

“Windows XP is an incredible step forward for end users and partners, unlocking the possibilities of the digital world,”
said Jim Allchin, group vice president for platforms at Microsoft.
“Windows XP provides new opportunities for companies throughout the hardware and software industries, especially PC manufacturers that have worked closely with us to create the best experience for customers.”


We’re excited about Windows XP and the positive impact it will have on our industry. As a strong partner for

more than
15 years, Compaq has worked closely with Microsoft throughout the extensive development of Windows XP,”
said Mike Larson, senior vice president and general manager of the Access Business Group at Compaq.
“We are setting a new standard for simple, dependable and efficient computing.”

“Dell is excited about delivering Windows XP later this year,”
said Jim Totton, vice president of software for the Consumer Products Group at Dell.
“Dell is always interested in what’s best for its customers, and the new levels of performance, ease of use and customization will combine for a great personal computing experience.”

Windows XP will offer customers exciting new experiences for both home and work. Whether someone is an aspiring photographer or a businessperson on the road, Windows XP enables them to embrace the new digital world. It brings together the power and reliability that businesses have asked for with the ease of use and flexibility that home consumers want.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
“MSFT”
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.

Microsoft and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

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