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210. Promoting non?Microsoft software and services was not the only, or even the primary, purpose of the OEM introductory programs. The primary purpose, rather, was to make the experience of setting up and learning to use a new PC system easier and less confusing for users, especially novices. By doing so, the OEMs believed, they would increase the value of their systems and minimize both product returns and costly support calls. Since just three calls from a consumer can erase the entire profit that an OEM earned selling a PC system to that consumer, OEMs have an acute interest in making their systems self?explanatory and simple to use. A secondary purpose motivating OEMs to insert programs into the boot sequence was to differentiate their products from those of their competitors. Finally, OEMs perceived an opportunity to collect bounties from IAPs and ISVs in exchange for the promotion of their services and software in the boot sequence. Thus, among the programs that many OEMs inserted into the boot sequence were Internet sign?up procedures that encouraged users to choose from a list of IAPs assembled by the OEM. In many cases, a consumer signing up for an IAP through an OEM program would automatically become a user of whichever browser that IAP bundled with its proprietary software. In other cases, the IAP would present the user with a choice of browsers in the course of collecting from the user the information necessary to start a subscription.
211. In addition to tutorials, sign?up programs, and splash screens, a few large OEMs developed programs that ran automatically at the conclusion of a new PC system''s first boot sequence. These programs replaced the Windows desktop either with a user interface designed by the OEM or with Navigator''s user interface. The OEMs that implemented automatically loading alternative user interfaces did so out of the belief that many users, particularly novice ones, would find the alternate interfaces less complicated and confusing than the Windows desktop.
212. When Gates became aware of what the OEMs were doing, he expressed concern to Kempin, the Microsoft executive in charge of OEM sales. On January 6, 1996, Gates wrote to Kempin: ``Winning Internet browser share is a very very important goal for us. Apparently a lot of OEMs are bundling non?Microsoft browsers and coming up with offerings together with Internet Service providers that get displayed on their machines in a FAR more prominent way than MSN or our Internet browser.'''' Less than three weeks later, Kempin delivered his semi? annual report on OEM sales to his superiors. In the report, he identified ``Control over start?up screens, MSN and IE placement'''' as one interest that Microsoft had neglected over the previous six months. The ongoing imbroglio with Compaq was prominent in Kempin''s thinking, but he also recognized that establishing control over the boot process was necessary to ensure preferential positioning for MSN and Internet Explorer.
213. In an effort to thwart the practice of OEM customization, Microsoft began, in the spring of 1996, to force OEMs to accept a series of restrictions on their ability to reconfigure the Windows 95 desktop and boot sequence. There were five such restrictions, which were manifested either as amendments to existing Windows 95 licenses or as terms in new Windows 98 licenses. First, Microsoft formalized the prohibition against removing any icons, folders, or ``Start'''' menu entries that Microsoft itself had placed on the Windows desktop. Second, Microsoft prohibited OEMs from modifying the initial Windows boot sequence. Third, Microsoft prohibited OEMs from installing programs, including alternatives to the Windows desktop user interface, which would launch automatically upon completion of the initial Windows boot sequence. Fourth, Microsoft prohibited OEMs from adding icons or folders to the Windows desktop that were not similar in size and shape to icons supplied by Microsoft. Finally, when Microsoft later released the Active Desktop as part of Internet Explorer 4.0, it added the restriction that OEMs were not to use that feature to display third?party brands.