Report: Microsoft gives way on digital photo software

Windows XP will more prominently display non-Microsoft digital imaging software, a concession made by Microsoft Corp. in a dispute with Eastman Kodak Co., according to a report published Monday.

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

Microsoft has also agreed to clearly brand its software and to work with Kodak to make sure 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 America Online Inc.’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 Co. Ltd.

Windows XP is in the final days of development and is scheduled to go on retail sale on Oct. 25.

Kodak is one of many complainants about Windows XP. Microsoft is weathering criticism from privacy groups that filed a complaint with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, from New York Senator Charles Schumer, who called for hearings, and from InterTrust Technologies Inc., a company that charges Microsoft is using its digital rights management technology in Windows XP and other products, and has filed a patent infringement suit.

Microsoft is at

Kodak, in Rochester, New York, is at