PC Week: Microsoft partners use trial as wedge

“Microsoft’s many constituencies — hardware makers, software
developers, corporate customers and service providers — have
wide-ranging opinions on whether the historic federal/state
lawsuit, now entering the second week of a six-week recess, has
affected their relationships with the software giant.

The bottom line for many: Microsoft (Nasdaq:MSFT) hasn’t done
much to change its hard-charging business approach. But that isn’t
keeping some partners from pushing back — and in some cases,
Microsoft is starting to budge.”

“‘They are more flexible on Linux,’ said an executive with
another Top Five PC company. ‘Decisions in the past [to bundle
non-Microsoft operating systems] have gone down with a lot of
tension. Today they go down with considerably less.’

One thing that hasn’t changed: None of the executives would
speak on the record, for fear of reprisals from Redmond.”