Microsoft Drops its Music Plan

By Jon Newton 10/21/05

Bill and the Boyz told portable audio device makers they’d have to toe the Microsoft line if they wanted to do business with the world’s largest monopoly.

Their plan, described as a draft specification, “would have precluded manufacturers of those devices from distributing software to consumers other than Microsoft's Windows Media Player in exchange for Microsoft-supplied CDs,” says the Associated Press.

But one company, unnamed, protested, “and a federal court document shows Microsoft backed off the idea,” says the story, going on, “Microsoft's demands probably would have violated the landmark 2002 antitrust settlement between the company and the Bush administration.”

Jon Newton

AP has Howard University law professor Andrew Gavil wondering if Microsoft's proposal was a “genuine mistake” or a signal that the company intends to “revert to its hardball tactics”.

"It's somewhat amazing it even happened," he’s quoted as saying. "It's troubling that anyone inside Microsoft was still thinking this was a legitimate business strategy."

The US Department of Justice said the Microsoft incident was "unfortunate," but there won't be any legal action, says another AP story.

Jon Newton is the editor of and is a regular contributer to MP3 Newswire. Jon's site is devoted to the politics of digital music and his insights as well as those of his co-writers can be read there. We urge you to explore it.


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