Microsoft tries new tack in license deals

Microsoft's decision to remove language from a licensing agreement that has long rankled computer makers reflects a growing willingness by the software giant to tweak the way it does business, according to analysts.

Although the company is less willing to change the way it develops and markets its software, Directions on Microsoft analyst Rob Helm said the computer maker is eager to address regulators' concerns and is likely to settle a dispute that centers on contractual issues. "Microsoft will show more flexibility on contract provisions than on things that require technical or design changes," Helm said.

Microsoft disclosed last week that it had recently removed a clause from its standard Windows contract with computer makers. Manufacturers that wanted to sell Windows on their machines were asked to agree, in the clause, not to assert claims that the operating system infringed on their intellectual property. The move, which was made last month, came just days before Japanese regulators raided Microsoft's offices as part of an investigation into that particular contract language. Microsoft representatives say they were aware of the Japanese inquiry but maintain that the timing was more coincidental.

News source: C|Net News.com

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