Meet Microsoft's Enforcer

Joachim Kempin rules PC makers with carrots-and sticks

Theodor Lieven doesn't mince words when it comes to Microsoft Corp. or Joachim Kempin, the company's chief negotiator with PC makers. Lieven, the former chief Executive officer of German PC manufacturer Vobis Microcomputer, accuses Microsoft of using strong-arm tactics that prevented Vobis from selling software that competed with Windows. And Kempin? He made an offer for licensing Windows that Vobis couldn't refuse. "What he said to us was: `Take it or leave it,"' recalls Lieven. "What he meant was `Take it or die."'

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