Microsoft plan to beat Netscape revealed in trial

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) released its "Exhibit No. 233" today, otherwise known as the "IE 5 OEM Marketing Plan," an internal Microsoft document used by the company to describe its plan to beat Netscape and dominate the Web browser market. The key to the plan, oddly enough, lies not with the technical superiority of Internet Explorer (as Microsoft officials say publicly) but rather with the concept that user will simply choose the browser that comes with their computer. Therefore, Microsoft is planning to get IE 5.0 on new computers as quickly as possible.

The document, which is date May 27, 1998, focuses on the top 20 PC hardware manufacturers, who will be given an "Internet Upgrade Utility" that will automatically upgrade their new systems to IE 5.0 when it becomes available early next year. Also, IE 5.0 will be built into a new OSR upgrade of Windows 98 so that OEMs will not have to manually add IE 5.0 to systems.

According to the document, this plan is expected to take Internet Explorer from its current 50% marketshare to over 65% next year

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