Is Microsoft still playing games despite the AntiTrust lawsuit?

2009-04-09

It would seem that complaints are still coming in about supposed “anti-competitive behaviour” on Microsoft’s part. The latest allegations are in relation to their OEM Ready and Velocity marketing campaigns.

As Steve Ballmer (MS’ CEO) stated in July as a foundation to the marketing campaigns:

You can take the same laptop, oftentimes, and pre-configure it one way and you can get almost instantaneous boot, and fantastic battery life … If you pre-configure it with software in another way you get long boots, and much less battery life.

It would seem that OEM Ready is a marketing idea which says that the system will boot just as fast as a fresh install of windows despite any pre-loaded software from the vendor. However it looks like MS had threatened to reduce or even withhold discounts from OEM’s that installed software that didn’t pass the OEM Ready certification. Back in December, six months after the initial allegations, MS finally announced that it wouldn’t change any discount tariffs for these failing OEM’s.

In response to these anti-competitive queries, some of the US States that are currently monitoring MS since the 2001 anti-Trust lawsuit are considering asking for an extension of the oversight (which would end on November 12 if things remain unchanged). The States are suggesting extension of the watch by three years to 2012. The lead States involved are California and New York.

See: The Register and The Seattle Times.