Feeds

Feds fume over Microsoft anti-trust delay

Compliance hold up

Security for virtualized datacentres

The US Department of Justice told a federal judge it is unhappy with Microsoft's plans to extend a deadline for supplying technical information to licensees documenting how Windows communicates with operating systems and middleware made by other companies.

Microsoft is required to supply the documentation under a 2001 consent decree that settled a long-standing antitrust lawsuit brought by the US government. Justice Department attorneys deemed initial documentation Microsoft supplied as inadequate, and Microsoft agreed to offer regular revisions. The disclosures are designed to put competing software makers on an equal footing by supplying the information they need to make their products interoperate with Microsoft's monopoly operating systems.

The software behemoth has met three deadlines so far, but said it needed more time to complete the remaining ones. The delay, it said, was needed to account for last-minute protocols added to its upcoming Longhorn Server operating system and those overlooked on previous reviews. The Justice Department isn't amused by the change, which will add an extra report Microsoft must submit and extend the compliance schedule by just under two months.

"Plaintiffs are concerned that Microsoft has not been able to meet its original schedule and are particularly troubled that at this late hour in the program Microsoft is still discovering protocols that should have been included in the original documentation," Justice Department attorneys wrote in a status report jointly prepared by them and Microsoft. They said they are discussing the matter with the company and would report more at an upcoming status conference.

In a section prepared by Microsoft, company lawyers said they have resolved a "substantial majority" of the issues previously raised by the government. They said the delays were the result of changes the company didn't anticipate when it agreed to the schedule in September and that the additions would likely require thousands of additional pages of documentation it is required to file.

The change would bring the total number of revisions, which in court parlance are called a milestones, to six. The new milestone is due on April 3. The last one is to be delivered on July 20.

The Justice Departments concerns aren't the first time Microsoft has been accused of stalling. In January, 2006 US District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, who is overseeing the settlement, described Microsoft's compliance efforts "foot-dragging."

The Justice Department also said it was investigating a complaint Microsoft has received from an unnamed source concerning middleware. The department is also analyzing evidence presented in a separate legal action in Iowa, which was tentatively settled last month. The evidence relates to allegations Microsoft has failed to disclose APIs as required. ®

Today's status report is here.

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
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?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.