Kodak unhappy with Windows XP Picture

  07/31/2001 2:42:09 PM MDT Albuquerque, Nm
  By Dustin D. Brand; Owner AMO

Adding to more industry dislike of Windows XP, Kodak doesn't like the picture either.
  Eastman Kodak, the $14 billion film and camera company, issued a statement ahead of a Microsoft-sponsored digital photography event in New York Tuesday condemning the software maker's tactics for creating an operating system that Kodak argues limits consumer choice and competition.

  Kodak doesn't like the Windows XP Picture because they think Microsoft is giving themselves perferential treatment when it comes to digital photography.

  With the release of Windows XP on Oct. 25, it will include a bundled digital photo application that guides consumers conveniently through the steps for downloading a digital picture file from a camera to the PC, modifying it with software and printing it through an online photo finishing service.

  A spokesman for Kodak said Tuesday that Microsoft is "positing itself as the gatekeeper" of the online photo industry. Microsoft sets its digital photo software as the default application on Windows XP, according to Kodak's statement. Kodak also argues that it also steers consumers to Web sites that print digital photos, such as the MSN Photos Web site or Web sites from vendors that agree to pay Microsoft a fee for every picture printed by way of the Windows XP operating system, Kodak wrote in its statement.

  "The Microsoft choice is visible, Kodak's is hidden," said Anthony Sanzio, a Kodak spokesman, in an interview. "They're doing this in an attempt to take customers away from Kodak and other software vendors."

  Microsoft is dealing with many in the industry, and more than ever before, complaining that WindowsXP is A. Anticompetitive or Unfair, B. Infringing on Patents C. Illegal , or D. Pick some complaint.

  A common Microsoft response to these complaints is: "Windows makes it really easy to pick whatever software you want to use and whatever service you want to use," said Greg Sullivan, lead product manager for Windows XP. "We're really focused on addressing the needs of our customers and developing a platform that all of our partners can build on, and add value to, to provide the greatest customer choice."

  In fact, Windows XP has gained so much attention, both because of the thrown out Break-Up ruling by the US Appeals Court, and by the features included in WindowsXP, that many of the complainants have requested that Windows XP not go on sale at all.

  Privacy groups also filed a complaint with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) against Microsoft's Passport authentication service loaded into Windows XP, and Congress is investigating Microsoft's plans to bundle its media player and instant messaging applications into the operating system. New York Senator Charles Schumer, whose state is home to AOL Time Warner and Eastman Kodak, first rallied Congress to take action against Microsoft's Windows XP tactics.

  Seeing through the silver lining, we find Kodak is a strong partner with AOL Time Warner, whom also stands to lose marketshare to Microsoft Windows XP and it's features.

  Microsoft conceeded into Kodak partially, and made a 9 click journey to use Kodak vs Microsoft in Windows XP to 2 clicks, which is often less than it takes in install software after the first click.

  "We're happy that Microsoft has made some changes to Windows XP, but we still believe Microsoft is giving its own applications preferential treatment," Sanzio of Kodak said.

  If Kodak just doesn't like the Windows XP Picture, perhaps they should take snapshots elsewhere.