Feeds

'Microsoft broke anti-trust agreement,' prosecutors claim

Documenting the undocumented

The essential guide to IT transformation

A relatively minor US anti-trust case could put Microsoft back in hot water with the government, four years after settling its long-running national case.

Prosecutors in an Iowa anti-trust suit against Microsoft have been granted special permission by a judge to present evidence to the Department of Justice (DoJ) they claim proves Microsoft breached its 2002 settlement with the DoJ. That case dragged on for more than five years.

It's claimed Microsoft's engineers used at least 500 undocumented APIs to ensure Microsoft's applications worked better with Windows than those of competitors.

Software expert Ronald Alepin, who has been giving evidence on behalf of plaintiffs in Iowa, said the APIs were made available to developers outside Microsoft in a "very low profile" way in "notes form" to "discourage" developers from using the APIs, while also allowing Microsoft to claim the APIs were documented.

One stipulation of the 2002 settlement between Microsoft and the DoJ is for Microsoft to document all APIs and Windows Communications protocols for the benefit of third parties.

It's a condition Microsoft has been consistently poor at meeting. Officials regularly monitoring Microsoft's compliance under the Microsoft Communications Protocol Program (MCPP) repeatedly criticise Microsoft for its slow progress and for failing to make adequate documentation available. They've also forced Microsoft to substantially change the program, relaxing license pricing and wording.

The Iowa case, Comes v Microsoft, claims Microsoft's business practices have unfairly hurt consumers. More from the case can be found here. ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft boots 1,500 dodgy apps from the Windows Store
DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! Naughty, misleading developers!
'Stop dissing Google or quit': OK, I quit, says Code Club co-founder
And now a message from our sponsors: 'STFU or else'
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Uber, Lyft and cutting corners: The true face of the Sharing Economy
Casual labour and tired ideas = not really web-tastic
Mozilla's 'Tiles' ads debut in new Firefox nightlies
You can try turning them off and on again
Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can
No, not with swearing, but by controlling the release cycle
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?