Microsoft GmbH and German computer magazine PC Welt are in a dispute over a recent PC Welt cover story on how to manipulate Microsoft programs.
"Unauthorised Windows - How you can take Windows to the limit," as the story gracing the March cover of PC Welt (PC World) is titled, tells readers, among other things, how to install a new version of Microsoft's Windows '95 without having the serial number on hand.
The article also points out many undocumented and unofficial functions and options in Microsoft products, according to PC Welt, which is published by IDG Germany.
Microsoft has accused PC Welt of revealing trade secrets and "inviting readers to break the law" according to PC Welt editor Michael Klein. Last week, Microsoft spokesman Kurt Braatz also told the German press agency DPA that the article was a call for "software piracy on a grand scale."
Klein told IDG that although the two parties wanted to settle the dispute outside of court, talks last week had broken down. A Microsoft spokesperson in Munich confirmed that the company is reviewing legal steps, but declined further comment.
In an upcoming editorial defending the story, Klein said PC Welt readers were repeatedly reminded to follow Microsoft's licensing rules and should only use certain information if they had an originally-licensed program.
Germany's PC Welt editorial staff in Munich can be reached at http://www.pcwelt.de.