Court nixes Microsoft complaint against PC Welt

The public prosecutor's office in Munich has thrown out a legal complaint filed by Microsoft Germany against the magazine PC Welt -- which is part of IDG Germany. The legal wrangle was sparked by the magazine's March cover story, 'Unauthorised Windows - How you can take Windows to the limit,' which revealed to readers undocumented and unofficial functions and options in Microsoft's products. Among the tips was how to install a new version of Windows 95 without having the serial number on hand.

The public prosecutor's office in Munich has thrown out a legal complaint filed by Microsoft Germany against the magazine PC Welt.

The prosecutor's office has verbally told the magazine -- which is part of IDG Germany -- that the complaint does not merit consideration, according to PC Welt editor Michael Klein.

The legal wrangle was sparked by the magazine's March cover story, "Unauthorised Windows - How you can take Windows to the limit," which revealed to readers undocumented and unofficial functions and options in Microsoft 's products. Among the tips was how to install a new version of Microsoft's Windows 95 operating system without having the serial number on hand.

In March, Microsoft filed a legal complaint against PC Welt for inciting readers to commit software piracy and break copyright laws.

PC Welt maintains the suit is without merit, saving that the software maker simply wants to use its market position to influence the media. "Microsoft apparently wants to make an example of us," PC Welt said in a statement posted on its World Wide Web site.

Microsoft has been campaigning in Germany to put an end to software piracy and earlier this year at the CeBIT trade show in Hanover devoted a large stand to the topic.

A Microsoft spokeswoman said she was not yet aware of the complaint being rejected and therefore had no comment.

Microsoft GmbH, in Munich, can be reached at +49-89-3176-5000, and the parent company's Web site is at http://www.microsoft.com/. The PC Welt editorial staff, also in Munich, can be reached at or at http://www.pcwelt.de/.

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