Trying to combat the monopoly Microsoft has with the placement of its programs and icons on new computers, America Online is offering computer manufacturers a bounty for new customers that sign up for the program as a result of prominent placement on new computers.
Computers that come loaded with Microsoft programs typically include an icon for Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser. AOL hopes computer makers will make the AOL icon bigger or include pop-up windows or other means of promoting their program, and they're willing to pay if such treatment is successful.
AOL is the world's largest Internet service provider and to keep its share of the Internet population, the company is offering computer manufactures $35 a head for people who use these on-screen promotions to sign up for the program.
In light of recent antitrust battles that Microsoft has weathered, the software giant has agreed to let computer manufacturers have some flexibility in the selection, size, and placement of icons on the Windows desktop.