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MSNBC/AP: Trial stifles MS during Internet era

Feb 26, 2000, 02:46 (4 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Ted Bridis)

"Already there is evidence that Microsoft, under the glare of renewed scrutiny by the government since 1998, has consciously attempted to soften its hardball image. Gates is no longer chief executive, stepping aside to design software. The company granted unprecedented concessions to a few of the nation's largest computer makers to customize Windows software on machines they sell, and it relaxed restrictive agreements with some Internet providers."

"Some companies, including IBM and Dell Computer Corp., offer limited numbers of computers with rival Linux software installed -- an affront to Gates that few would have risked years ago. Last month, Microsoft uncharacteristically settled a private antitrust lawsuit in Utah and agreed to pay at least $155 million."

" 'They have toned back their aggressive language,' said Rob Enderle, a longtime Microsoft expert at the Giga Information Group. 'Microsoft always had been aggressive but almost uncontrollably so, with behavior that even for a company like Microsoft would be seen as unacceptably harsh. They needed to be reined in a bit, and the trial has done that.' "

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