Battle lines drawn as Win 98 talks fail

Battle lines drawn as Win 98 talks fail
Tom Foremski
Microsoft is bracing itself for a number of lawsuits today following the failure of talks seeking to avert a major legal battle over the launch of Windows 98.
Lawyers for Microsoft and the Department of Justice (DOJ) and more than 20 US states, failed to come to agreement and talks collapsed on Saturday. Microsoft said that demands that it ship rival Netscape Communications web browser software, and stop Windows 98 from launching when users start up their PCs were “not in the interest of PC users and would have set a bad precedent for other technology companies in the PC industry.”
“We unfortunately had no other choice but to resolve this matter in court. We are confident that what we are doing is entirely pro-competitive and in the best interest of consumers,” said Microsoft CEO bill Gates.
Microsoft will ship Windows 98 to its OEMs on Monday and will go ahead as planned with the retail launch on June 25. PC vendors, however, face a major risk, in that the DOJ may obtain a court injunction blocking Windows 98 sales, forcing them to recall millions of PCs with Windows 98 pre-installed.

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