Kodak got a bunch of publicity last month when it attacked Microsoft for not giving its photo finishing software fair treatment in Windows XP. (See my link and comments on July 7.) It was played up as another example of big bad Microsoft giving preferential treatment to its own services and squashing competition.

Microsoft and Kodak reached an agreement today, but that doesn’t matter. What caught my eye was that Kodak’s complaints last month were released on the same daythat Kodak announced its new long-term partnership with AOL Time Warner for photo services to be built into AOL’s software and massively marketed later this year as “You’ve Got Pictures!” In other words, the complaints were a ruse. Kodak used the press for leverage in its negotiations with Microsoft by jumping on AOL Time Warner’s unrelenting campaign to tarnish Microsoft’s public image.

The “abuse of monopoly power” stuff rings hollow coming from AOL Time Warner – a megacorporation which is going to make our lives an advertising hell in the next few years. AOL Time Warner doesn’t need help – not from the press, not from the courts, not from the government. Read the Microsoft-bashing stories with care!

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