Microsoft is allowing Dell to remove the Internet Explorer icon from the Windows desktop, according to this story from the Washington Post. A Microsoft rep engages in an interesting bit of sophistry with this quote, “In this case, Microsoft actually has conveyed Windows to a middleman [Dell], who customizes it.” So, they’re not customizing Windows as an OEM, but rather as a “middleman.” If someone can explain to me how there’s a meaningful difference here, I’d appreciate it. Looking at the larger picture, this is indicative of changes that have already come about thanks to this trial. At this point, Microsoft can’t afford to bully its OEM serfs the way it has in the past, and they’re rising up to take advantage of it.