Microsoft pressured Dell to drop Linux

The nine US states holding out for further antitrust action against Microsoft dropped a bombshell in court yesterday when it was claimed Dell came under pressure to drop its Linux plans because it was a "premium partner" for Windows 2000.

The damaging allegation was revealed by a lawyer for the nine states, who said that a memo sent to CEO Steve Ballmer suggested he "remind" Dell that promoting other operating systems wasn't appropriate for such a close partner of Microsoft.

And Microsoft also moaned at Intel in August 2000 when it said it would invest $100 million and more to help promote the Linux operating system.

Dell subsequently abandoned its attempts to offer the Linux OS in June last year, without giving any reasons for its withdrawal from that market.

In a very telling passage, Joachim Kempin, a senior Microsoft suit, penned in a note to Bill Gates that Intel was destroying the basis for the "marriage" it had with the chip giant.

The lawyers for the states also said that Windows XP was specifically designed to mess with the RealPlayer media player.

The states want judge Collen Kollar-Kotelly to bring more swingeing "remedies" against Microsoft than those proposed by the Department of Justice.

News source: The Inquirer

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