Branding : LUSENET : MS-DOJ : One Thread

Following up on the thought that MS shouldn't have to offer an option apart from 1) the full IE/Win95 combo, and 2) the broken version of Win95 minus all IE components, Microsoft can make a couple of related intellectual property / branding arguments.

If the OEM wants to deliver a product with the Win95 logo, MS should be able to require that the product adequately represent its engineering by containing all of the pieces MS designed into it. Second, if the product contains pieces that enhance its function, MS should be able to attach a second brand, the IE logo/app, to the product. In other words, we need to let end-users know what they're getting from us: you can't sell our chassis without the right engine; and if you want to sell the turbocharged engine, you have to add a tag above the bumper.

Even as I make the argument, however, I find it rings hollow given MS's position in the market. MS has the market power to inform the customers directly what is in its OS box. Its addition of IE to the completed Win95 shows its strength to change that expectation. If MS could tell purchasers of broken version 2 "You know it's not our full product because you don't have the IE component," it could just as plausibly sell a branded version 3, saying "You know it's ours even without the IE icon." Customers and software manufacturers only "expect" to find components in the OS because of what MS tells them it sells.

-- Anonymous, October 07, 1998

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