Where would Microsoft's shrinkwrap sales strategy have been without legal advice?
Edit: In 1980, she discussed with John Opel, a fellow committee member who was the chairman of the International Business Machines Corporation," her son's company. "Mr. Opel, by some accounts, mentioned Mrs. Gates to other I.B.M. executives. A few weeks later, I.B.M. took a chance by hiring Microsoft, then a small software firm, to develop an operating system for its first personal computer." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Maxwell_Gates
The first is probably true, I agree atleast. Your second point about them not being heavy handed because they knew Bill's mother I just can't see having any shred of truth.
IBM also made a sweetheart deal with Intel with no mother's involved.
The reason they made those deals has been stated many times over.
IBM was in a huge rush to ship and they needed an OS and CPU in a very bad way. They made those deals because that's what allowed them to ship.