Microsoft HTML Mail Interface


The consent decree in the Microsoft antitrust settlement required Microsoft to provide a means for computer makers and resellers to preconfigure new Windows machines with non-Microsoft applications, particularly Web browsers, email clients, and media players; to set system defaults for those applications; and to ensure that those competing products worked as well within the Windows environment as the Microsoft products they were replacing, and required the Technical Committee to verify Microsoft's compliance with this requirement.


No-one on the Technical Committee testing team had any experience with the usage scenarios supported by this requirement of the consent decree, but there were potentially millions of end-users who could be affected.


I used the existing documentation for the Windows OEM Preinstallation Kit (OPK) to educate myself on the basic process of preconfiguration and specifically the installation and configuration of non-Microsoft applications and defaults. I then engaged with computer OEMs and resellers to understand their specific procedures and concerns with the OPK, and designed and executed a test plan to ensure compliance with the requirements of the consent decree as well as with the needs of the users of the OPK.


As a result of my testing, a significant user group, which would otherwise have been ignored, was ensured the ability to configure new Windows machines according to the needs of their customers, Microsoft was able to better comply with this requirement of the consent decree, and six hundred million Windows 7 users were given the ability to use straight out of the box their choice of applications, whether those applications were developed by Microsoft or by its competitors.


This experience shows my willingness to learn new things, my focus on the needs of the customer, and my ability to partner with external stakeholders to determine project completion criteria.