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Show us Windows source, States ask judge

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The US States still pursuing Microsoft have upped the ante by asking the judge to force Microsoft to show them Windows' source code, their reasoning being that they need this to verify whether or not Microsoft is telling the truth when it says that producing a stripped-down and/or IE-free version of Windows isn't technically possible.

Which is logical enough. One of the most irritating and protracted battles of the trial under Judge Jackson's auspices was the row over whether or not taking IE out of Windows would break it, whether Ed Felten had actually removed IE or just slightly hidden it, and whether or not Jim Allchin's video demo debunking Felten had been faked. (Well OK, that last one wasn't tedious at all - here it is again, for your amusement.)

An examination of the source could possibly short-circuit such arguments, determine which bits of which DLL do what, and whether functionality has been combined in DLLs for reasons of efficiency or simply because Microsoft wanted to weld non-related functions together for nefarious reasons. Alternatively, it could result in hugely complex, unintelligible rows that leave the judge, and everybody else, entirely baffled.

The States also asked the judge to appoint a technical expert to provide "impartial opinions on the complex, technical issues" of the case. If she grants source access, we fear one of these may not be enough... ®

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