Report: Compaq to make Windows XP desktop AOL's turf

America Online Inc. (AOL) will get a prime spot on the Windows XP desktop of most consumer PCs sold by Compaq Computer Corp., while Microsoft Corp.'s MSN Internet access service will be tucked away, according to a published report Friday.

AOL will be the first Internet service consumers see when they start a new Compaq PC running the forthcoming Windows XP operating system. MSN won't be part of the computer's startup sequence, according to a report in the online edition of The Wall Street Journal.

The move makes Compaq, the world's second largest PC maker, one of the first to act on a relaxing of the licensing rules for Windows announced by Microsoft in early July. The software giant gave original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), such as Compaq, more flexibility to configure Windows, a concession after a ruling by a U.S. appeals court in late June. AOL has a longstanding relationship with Compaq; the service has been part of the startup screen of Presario consumer PCs for years. However, next to AOL's icon was always an icon for Microsoft's MSN. With the newly-relaxed licensing rules, Compaq is now free to remove the MSN icon, the report said.

MSN will still be part of the forthcoming Windows XP operating system, but the service will not be featured prominently on Compaq machines. Compaq is also negotiating with AOL to replace MSN as the standard Internet service on other PCs, according to the report.

The arrangement with Compaq is part of AOL's continued campaign to gain control of as many desktops as it can. Talks between AOL and Microsoft over whether to include a link to AOL on the Windows XP desktop collapsed in June. AOL is now offering to pay PC makers in order to win customers for its service. AOL wants PC makers to place advertisements on the desktops of computers based on the upcoming Windows XP operating system and will pay US$35 per customer that signs up for AOL's Internet service, the Washington Post reported Thursday. The release of Windows XP is scheduled for October 25.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Joris Evers

Computerworld
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?