Feeds

'Microsoft broke anti-trust agreement,' prosecutors claim

Documenting the undocumented

Boost IT visibility and business value

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. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer
Melty but refreshing - popular rival to Mint's Cinnamon's still a work in progress
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
Mozilla keeps its Beard, hopes anti-gay marriage troubles are now over
Plenty on new CEO's todo list – starting with Firefox's slipping grasp
Apple: We'll unleash OS X Yosemite beta on the MASSES on 24 July
Starting today, regular fanbois will be guinea pigs, it tells Reg
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Cloudy CoreOS Linux distro declares itself production-ready
Lightweight, container-happy Linux gets first Stable release
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.