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October 21, 2005

Microsoft Reverts To Old Habits, For A Moment

The Washington Post is reporting that Microsoft had presented draft contracts to mp3 player manufacturers that would require them to use only Microsoft Media Player to transfer music to and from portable devices.  Microsoft pulled back when the contracts were examined by lawyers and a rival protested.  The Justice Department decided not to pursue the issue once Microsoft changed the offending provisions. 

Commentators quoted in the story were amazed that Microsoft would consider using such tactics.  The article quotes Howard University law professor Andy Gavil as saying "It's troubling that anyone inside Microsoft was still thinking this was still a legitimate business strategy."  Microsoft spokeswoman Stacy Drake McCreedy was quoted as saying "We have a legal process in place that prevents the incidents from occuring."

The story (free, subscription required) is located here.  CNET News has additional details here.

I wonder how this would play in Europe given the European Commission's order for Microsoft to sever Media Player from the operating system.  Microsoft is still appealing that one.

October 21, 2005 | Permalink

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