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January 11, 2007

Revenge of the craplets

Posted by David Hunter at 9:18 PM ET.

Sometimes you just have to laugh – ‘Craplets’ could damage Vista launch: Microsoft exec:

A senior Microsoft Corp. executive says the company is concerned that uncertified third-party software loaded onto new computers by manufacturers could hurt the launch of consumer versions of its Windows Vista operating system later this month.

In a discussion Tuesday night at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the Microsoft official told CBC News Online, on condition of anonymity, that the world’s largest software maker is frustrated by legal shackles that prevent the company from restricting what kinds of software major computer makers install on new PCs.

“We can’t do anything about it because it would be illegal,” the executive said in reference to restrictions placed on the company following a U.S. federal anti-trust lawsuit against the company.

The concern arises from third-party software that hardware makers commonly install on new computers in exchange for a fee, many of which have not been tested and certified by Microsoft to work with Vista, the executive said. They include things such as links to online services, and demo versions of programs.

“We call them craplets,” the official said. The term is a contraction of the words “crap” and “applet.” An applet is a small computer program or application.

Yeah, it’s an anonymous source, but I’ll take it at face value because I hate “craplets” and expect there are a lot of other folks who do too. However, I’m also intimately aware of the thin margins in the PC business and the money from installing preloads is very important. The PC ecosystem is largely a creation of Microsoft and if they don’t like what the OEMs have to do to make a living, maybe they could knock a few bucks off the Vista licensing fee. I doubt that any antitrust regulator would object to that. Besides, what happened to all that ISV outreach to ensure quality Vista applications?

Filed under General Business, Licensing, Microsoft, OS - Client, Partner Program, Windows Vista

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One Response to “Revenge of the craplets”

  1. Vista Odds and Ends, January 12, 2007 -- Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] For a week seemingly dominated by consumer electronics of the non-PC variety, there was still an abundance of Windows Vista news. I’ve already mentioned the December sales estimates and the craplets, but here’s more that didn’t get a post of their own: [...]

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