Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has dismissed calls for a pared-down version of its Windows operating system. In a video statement released by the company Ballmer said the US states rejecting its antitrust settlement are flying in the face of consumer and industry demands.
The proposed settlement with DoJ, in which MS gets to decide its own punishment, goes well beyond the Court of Appeals’ findings of problems, Ballmer insisted.
It addresses all of the key issues raised by the Court of Appeals, he said, and while certainly not a painless, but quite a difficult settlement and quite a compromise from us in many ways, I think represents … a very reasonable way for both of us to try to, to move forward.
Ballmer also said the states’ demands would result in thousands to millions of Windows versions. If you have these thousands to millions of additional versions, the consumer has no idea what Version 3684 is going to do versus Version 2249, and one of the key reasons why Windows has value to end users today is they know that if they get a version of Windows, [it] has a certain kind of a user interface, they can ask their friends for help, it runs a certain set of applications, it has a certain set of hardware devices that it supports, and [the states’ demand] takes away all of that value to the consumer.
I don’t think there’s any (computer manufacturer) interest that I understand, and I don’t think there’s any interest from consumers, said Ballmer.
Another top executive, group vice president of platforms Jim Allchin, described the proposal to strip out parts of Windows as terrible. He said the idea is so mind-blowing to me I don’t even know what to say about them. Allchin argued it would be impossible for Microsoft to accomplish what the states are proposing.
Microsoft’s move came after the non-settling states modified their original demand for two different versions of Windows. The states now say all functions should be detachable to give software developers and computer users more choices in which programs to use.