Internet browser firm Spyglass has demanded to audit Microsoft?s books for possible licence money owing, after warning of higher-than-anticipated first quarter losses.
Spyglass warned on Thursday that figures for its first quarter, ended 31 December, would reveal a loss of between $1.2 million and $1.6 million. The company had previously indicated that it might post a loss for the first half of the financial year after ramping up its research and development spending.
But the supplier also feels that its financial health is not being helped by uncertainty over whether Microsoft owes it money for licensing its Mosaic browser and Surfwatch content filtering software, to bundle with Internet Explorer.
In a statement issued on Thursday, Spyglass executives said that Microsoft has only paid up a guaranteed minimum of $400,000 in royalty payments. Spyglass believes it is owed more money but is unable to determine how much because, it says, Microsoft has not issued a report on the number of copies of Explorer it has given away.
But the licensing agreement with Microsoft - first signed for Mosaic in January 1995, then extended to include Surfwatch in October last year - includes a clause that gives Spyglass the right to audit Microsoft?s financial records to decide whether further royalties are owed.
Microsoft declined to comment, while Spyglass spokespeople said they would not make further comment until the release of the first quarter results on 22 January.
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