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SCO licenses Microsoft protocols

Redmond Music Store, IM also concerns watchdog

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The SCO Group is one of four new licensees for Microsoft's interoperability protocols, we learn from the latest antitrust compliance bulletin. Regular reports are issued to monitor compliance with the Antitrust settlement, specifically "to ensure that rival middleware can interoperate" with Microsoft servers.

Alongside SCO, Cisco, Laplink and Tandberg TV have also signed up to the MCPP (Microsoft Communications Protocol Program). It represents a tiny number of potential licensees; many others are confident that they can interoperate with Microsoft servers using open implementations, such as Samba. However, the court declares itself happy with Microsoft's compliance, congratulating it on halving the license fees and rewriting the licenses to make them easier to understand.

There's another program in which you can get a license to look at the technical documentation for the protocols. Not surprisingly it has zero takers so far: the documentation has been described as less than useful, since the latest Microsoft implementation is the documentation.

Attorneys for each of the dissenting States, continue their own monitoring, and we learn that California is discussing the integration of Windows Messenger into the operating system after one complaint.

A complaint from a Tablet PC ISV was dismissed by the compliance committee, and required no further action.

While Apple is boasting about the popularity of its iTunes Music Store, now available on Windows, Microsoft's efforts in this department continue to attract scrutiny.

"Plaintiffs are engaged in a dialog with Microsoft concerning a feature within Windows XP called 'Shop for Music Online', which allows a user to go online to purchase compact discs from retailers. Plaintiffs are concerned that the feature invokes Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, rather than the user’s chosen default browser, in a manner that may be inconsistent with Section III.H.2(b)," apparently.

We learn that the technical committee has been called in, and without much apparent progress, this one may go to Court. ®

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