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Microsoft - Greater OEM Flexibility For Windows

Microsoft Announces Greater OEM Flexibility For Windows
Changes Will Not Affect Oct. 25 Launch Date of Windows XP

AUCKLAND, New Zealand - Thursday, July 12, 2001 - Microsoft New Zealand announced today that it is offering computer manufacturers greater flexibility in configuring desktop versions of the Microsoft® Windows® operating system in light of the recent ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. The company said the changes would not affect the Oct. 25 launch date of Windows XP.

"We recognize that some provisions in our existing Windows licenses have been ruled improper by the U.S. court, so we are providing computer manufacturers with greater flexibility. We are doing this immediately so that computer manufacturers can plan for the upcoming release of Windows XP," said Terry Allen, Microsoft New Zealand Business Solutions Group Manager. "Windows XP represents a revolutionary step forward in personal computing, and computer manufacturers and consumers are looking forward to this product with great anticipation."

"This announcement does not take the place of settlement discussions with the government parties or any future steps in the legal process; however, we wanted to take immediate steps in light of the court's ruling. We are hopeful that we can work with the government parties on the issues that remain after the court's ruling," Allen added.

The U.S. appeals court ruled that certain provisions in Microsoft's licenses with PC manufacturers impaired the distribution of third-party Web browsers. Microsoft will now provide PC manufacturers with the following new flexibility:

* PC manufacturers will have the option to remove the Start menu entries and icons that provide end users with access to the Internet Explorer components of the operating system. Microsoft will include Internet Explorer in the Add/Remove programs feature in Windows XP.

* PC manufacturers will have the option to remove the Start menu entries and icons that provide end users with access to Internet Explorer from previous versions of Windows, including Windows 98, Windows 2000 and Windows Me.

* PC manufacturers will retain the option of putting icons directly onto the Windows desktop. Based on extensive customer usability studies, Microsoft had designed Windows XP to ship with a clean desktop and improved Start menu, but PC manufacturers will now have the option of continuing to place icons on the Windows desktop if they want to.

* Consumers will be able to use the Add-Remove Programs feature in Windows XP to remove end-user access to the Internet Explorer components of the operating system. Microsoft has always made it easy for consumers to delete the icons for Internet Explorer, but will now offer consumers this additional option in Windows XP.

Although some of these changes will require development work and testing for Windows XP, Microsoft can complete the work and will be able to meet the date for worldwide launch on Oct. 25.

About Windows XP Windows XP will offer customers exciting new experiences for both home and work. Whether someone is an aspiring photographer or a businessperson on the road, Windows XP enables them to embrace the new digital world. It brings together the power and reliability that businesses have asked for with the ease of use and flexibility that home consumers want. About Microsoft Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software - any time, any place and on any device. ######### Microsoft and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.


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