Contradictions in MS motion for summ. judgementgreenspun.com : LUSENET : MS-DOJ : One Thread
I notice that MS now seems to be arguing that IE has always been an integrated part of Windows '95 that was distributed through the OEM channel. However, MS also acknowledges that it engaged in cross-marketing agreements with ISPs and OLSes to promote IE, including distribution to end users.
Of course, if IE was always an integrated part of Windows '95, then MS has little need to encourage ISPs and OLSes to distribute it. (There would be some need for early retail copies of Windows '95 and for distribution of IE to non-Windows platforms -- whatever miniscule percentage of the PC market these platforms comprise.)
Coming back down to reality for a second, I believe the real reason that MS felt that they needed to have ISPs and OLSes promote their product is that they were rapidly updating IE at the time and they wanted to ensure that end users had the latest version. Also, a lot of end users had IE on their computer (perhaps not even realizing it) and this was a way to encourage them to switch away from Netscape.
I remember that when I bought my PC in 1996, it came with IE v.2, I used it once to download Netscape, and rarely touched it again.
But the more that MS argues that IE has always been an integrated part of Windows and a clearly superior browser, the less inclined I am to believe that MS needed to encourage ISPs to promote and distribute IE.
-- Anonymous, October 19, 1998
Another reason for MS to distribute IE through ISPs and OLSes is that many companies did not immediately upgrade or still have not upgraded from Win 3.11 to Win 95 (nevermind Win 98). For example, the law firm I worked for this past summer is still on Win 3.11 because Win 95 periodically crashes their document management system. Distributing IE through these two channels helps ensure that it reaches Win 3.11 users. Whether Win 3.11 users comprise a large enough segment of the Windows market for MS to care about them is another question. However, there may be enough of them such that it makes sense for MS to try to provide them with IE.
-- Anonymous, October 26, 1998