Microsoft gives way on digital photo software


Microsoft gives way on digital photo software

Windows XP will display non-Microsoft digital imaging software more prominently following a concession made by the software giant in a dispute with Eastman Kodak.

Kodak claimed that Microsoft was limiting consumer choice and competition by displaying only its own software when a digital camera was connected to a PC running Windows XP. The menus in the software will now be changed to list multiple third-party software packages, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal on 13 August.

Microsoft has also agreed to brand its software clearly and to work with Kodak to make sure that Kodak cameras work with Windows XP, the report said. Kodak had complained that Microsoft had co-opted a standard called PTP (Picture Transfer Protocol) in Windows XP and was using it in a way contrary to its original design.

Kodak, a partner in AOL's online photo finishing services, didn't get Microsoft to change the way it promotes such services. Windows XP will still steer users to Microsoft's preferred partners, such as its own online photo service MSN PictureIt, and Fuji Photo Film.

Windows XP is scheduled to go on retail sale on 25 October.

Kodak is one of many complainants about Windows XP. Microsoft is weathering criticism from privacy groups that filed a complaint with the US Federal Trade Commission. InterTrust Technologies has filed a patent infringement suit accusing Microsoft of using its digital rights management technology in Windows XP and other products.

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