The potential threat to Windows 98 -- scheduled to be shipped on June 25 -- was too much for Intel, Dell, Compaq, Hewlett-Packard and the other Microsoft-dependent usual suspects to bear. They rushed a joint letter to Janet Reno's door expressing the "strongest possible concern" that "interfering with the release of Windows 98 would drag down the entire industry's efforts to deliver value to customers and returns to shareholders."
Not to mention the unspecified millions these folks have spent developing Win98 products. But was their uprising entirely spontaneous? Ken Wasch, president of the Software Publisher's Association, suspects otherwise. "No computer manufacturer can afford to harm their relationship with Microsoft," he told CNN. "When Microsoft calls and asks them to write a letter to Justice, they're hard-pressed not to." Good thing they didn't use Redmond letterhead.