"However, the decision for CompuServe to embrace Netscape, also
an AOL subsidiary, could further divide the Internet company's
tenuous partnership with Microsoft. For years, the pair existed in
an amicable quid-pro-quo arrangement where AOL would use IE as its
default browser in exchange for Microsoft bundling AOL into its
Windows operating system. Last summer, that arrangement dissolved,
sending the tech rivals back to their respective corners.
"As Microsoft continues to weave Internet applications more
tightly into its ubiquitous operating system, AOL has also taken
steps to favor its own products. Nearly a year ago, the Internet
company began testing versions of CompuServe that used Gecko, the
underlying browser technology developed by open-source group
Mozilla.org and Netscape. AOL has not stated its intentions for
Gecko, but the technology is being tested in experimental versions
of the flagship AOL service.
"AOL said in a statement Tuesday that the CompuServe upgrade was
sparked by consumer feedback. Some analysts, however, wonder if
political reasons are behind the move..."