Microsoft Threatens PC Makers Over IE 4

Microsoft Internet Explorer 4 - IE4

Microsoft Internet Explorer 4 – IE4 Browser

Compaq Computer Corp., Gateway 2000, and Micron Electronics are among the PC makers that complained to the Department of Justice about Microsoft. According to the companies, Microsoft refused to let them removed Internet Explorer or the IE4 desktop icon from Windows 95. Details about the three PC makers as well as numerous other documents were included with the petition the DOJ made to the U.S. District Court this week.

A Compaq executive told DOJ investigators under sworn testimony that Microsoft threatened to terminate Compaq’s Windows 95 license when Compaq removed the IE4 icon from the desktop of Presario PCs. In an email to Compaq, the Microsoft group manager of the OEM sales division told the company that their Windows 95 license would be terminated unless Compaq put the icon back.

Gateway executives say that Microsoft has refused to renew that company’s Windows 95 license so that Microsoft would have better leverage in bargaining for other software bundles. Gateway wanted to give its customers a choice during the first boot between Internet Explorer 4 (IE4) and Netscape Navigator, but Microsoft told Gateway they could not alter the Windows 95 setup in any way. Microsoft insisted that Gateway machines boot into “a pristine Windows environment.” Microsoft also demanded that Gateway not delete the IE icon or modify the stock IE4 Channels in any way.

Micron had similar experiences when it tried to get permission for removing the IE icon. Interestingly, the CEO of Micron doesn’t believe that the DOJ has a case against Microsoft.

“No. Not on this specifically,” he said

Call Now Button