Nortel, RSA and Executive Software officials in the pavilion at Networld+Interop declined to comment. An official of another software vendor requested anonymity, citing his company's close relationship with Microsoft (msft) and, hence, its presence in Microsoft's booth at the conference.
"The resolution of this case will have absolutely no bearing on the computer industry," said the software official, who admitted he has paid little attention to the 2-year-old case. "Maybe it would be better to just break them up. A pure Windows company might be more focused anyway."
One official with applications management vendor NetIQ was less reticent to comment. "Microsoft's success and failure and ours are tied. We hope the resolution of the case is positive for Microsoft," said Program Manager Lowell Higley.
Nonetheless, Higley acknowledged that "Microsoft probably needs to change some of its business practices. I don't think the company needs to be broken up, but not requiring OEMs to (display the IE icon) and not punishing OEMs for choosing other software is appropriate."
Higley added that NetIQ has had little, if any, problem obtaining access to application-level APIs. He acknowledged, however, that this fact could be attributable to the company's close partnership with Microsoft and its exclusive focus on Microsoft operating systems. He said he was not surprised Microsoft declined to make publicly available lower-level middleware and kernel-level APIs.
"There are some things companies don't want to release. We wouldn't want to do that, either," Higley said. "These are a company's crown jewels. They are what makes their products unique."