Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Microsoft Limits Plans for Windows

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Microsoft Limits Plans for Windows

Article excerpt

NEW YORK (AP) _ Microsoft Corp., uncharacteristically heeding industry criticism, said Monday it would not sell its package of word processing, spreadsheet and other programs with the new version of Windows later this year.

A Microsoft executive said the company didn't want to upset distributors and retailers who objected to the idea.

But rival software makers had also criticized Microsoft's plan, saying the company was going to use its sales leadership in operating software, which runs a computer's basic functions, to boost its business for programs that perform specific applications.

Faced with such criticism previously, Microsoft has typically marched on. But its business practices have come under much greater scrutiny since a federal judge last month tossed aside the antitrust settlement the company reached with the Justice Department last year.

U.S. District Judge Stanley Sporkin said the Justice Department failed to deal with the most serious complaints against the company, including that it has used its dominance in operating system sales to boost other products.

"They certainly have done things in the past that would fly against common sense in terms of their public and industry relations," said Dwight Davis, editor of Windows Watcher, an independent newsletter devoted to Microsoft products.

"Now they probably are being a little bit more gun shy and probably a little bit more intelligent," Davis said, noting the potential sales gain for the combined product is too small to risk the enmity of so many companies.

"Microsoft Office" is the leader in sales of so-called "suite" software, which puts word processor, spreadsheet, e-mail and graphical presentation programs in a package that costs less than if each were bought separately.

The company last fall proposed to wholesalers and retailers the idea of putting Microsoft Office on the CD-ROM version of Windows 95, the revision to its chief product that is due this summer.

People could then experiment with limited versions of Microsoft Office programs. If a person wanted the full version, he or she would be able to call Microsoft, make a payment arrangement and be given a code to access the program on the CD-ROM. …

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