The New Principles

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2006-07-19 Print this article Print

The first principle goes to the installation of any software. "We will ensure that Microsoft will design Windows in ways that make it easy for people to add non-Microsoft features," Smith said.
No. 2 is easy access: Computer manufacturers are free to add icons, shortcuts and the like to the Windows Start menu and other places used to access software programs so that customers can easily find them, Microsoft said.
No. 3 is defaults. Microsoft will design Windows so as to let computer manufacturers and users set non-Microsoft programs to operate by default in certain categories, such as Web browsing and media playback, Microsoft said; computer manufacturers can set these defaults as they please when building new PCs. No. 4 is exclusive promotion of non-Microsoft programs, Smith said. "This is an important new issue in regard to things like media and Internet search, as we are broadening to adopt this for Internet search as well," he said, indicating that Microsofts fierce competition with Google aside, the company is dedicated to this principle.Guru Jakob Nielsen offers advice on designing applications for usability. Click here to watch the video. No. 5 is business terms: Microsoft will not retaliate against any computer manufacturer that supports non-Microsoft software, Smith said. To provide transparency on this point, Microsoft will post a standard volume-based price list to a Web site that is accessible to computer manufacturers, as it has under the U.S. antitrust ruling, he said. Principle No. 6 deals with APIs. Microsoft provides the developer community with a broad range of innovative operating system services, via documented APIs (application programming interfaces), for use in developing state-of-the-art applications. And the U.S. antitrust ruling requires that Microsoft disclose all of the interfaces internal to Windows called by "middleware" within the operating system, Smith said. Principle No. 7 involves Internet services, where Microsoft is contributing to innovation in the area of Internet services with services that the company calls Windows Live, Smith said. "Microsoft will design Windows Live as a product that is separate from Windows. Customers will be free to choose Windows with or without Windows Live," the company said. No. 8 is Open Internet access, where Microsoft will design and license Windows so that it does not block access to any lawful Web site or impose any fee for reaching any non-Microsoft Web site or using any non-Microsoft Web service, Smith said. Principle No. 9 is "no exclusivity," Smith said. The U.S. antitrust ruling provides that Microsoft may not enter into contracts that require any third party to promote Windows or any "middleware" in Windows on an exclusive basis and Microsoft has pledged to continue this, Smith said.Next Page: Microsofts pledges.

Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.

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