Microsoft expands icon use requirements

CIOL Bureau
New Update

NEW YORK: Microsoft Corp., hoping to counter AOL Time Warner Inc., disclosed

broader requirements on personal-computer makers for displaying the company's

software and services along with the forthcoming Windows XP operating system,

The Wall Street Journal reported in its online edition on Thursday.


In cases where PC manufacturers plan to provide Windows XP with icons on the

desktop, Microsoft will take three of them, a company spokesman said, according

to the report. The icons will point to Microsoft's MSN online service, its

Windows Media software and its Internet Explorer Web software, the spokesman

said Wednesday, according to the newspaper.

The report said that some Microsoft officials had previously suggested that

it would require only one icon, for its MSN service, on the desktops of computer

makers that display the icon of AOL's rival America Online service.

Microsoft had originally planned to ship Windows XP with a desktop screen

free of icons, and the company still encourages PC makers to provide it that

way, the report said.


But an appeals court ruling led the company to relax some of its restrictions

on features of the desktop, and AOL began offering to pay computer makers for a

prominent position on Windows XP, according to the report. Windows XP is

scheduled to launch on October 25.

James Allchin, head of Microsoft's Windows business, in an interview this

week with ZDNet's eWeek service, said that the company had actually disclosed

the requirements for multiple icons to PC makers some time ago, the newspaper

said. "In hindsight, I feel bad that we didn't make this public," he

told the publication.

The report said an AOL spokesman could not be reached for comment. AOL has

previously criticized Microsoft for simply dictating placement of its services

to PC makers, where AOL has to pay them, the report noted.

(C) Reuters Limited 2001.