Microsoft's Dell 'Concession' Is Simply Good Business

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At first click it may look like a concession, but Microsoft isn't really giving much away: The software giant's decision to allow Dell to remove the Internet Explorer icon from versions of Windows shipped to corporate clients is driven primarily by the requirement of customization.

"This concerns the 'value-added' systems customized for corporate clients to use for everything from checkout counters to inventory," explains TIME science editor Philip Elmer-DeWitt. "These customers don't want anything on the computer that they don't need, and many of them don't want their staff to have Internet access while on the job." It makes no sense to try to force your browser upon customers who are explicitly out to avoid the Web. And the issue at the heart of the antitrust suit remains whether Microsoft's contract should give it the power to decide these issues.