Feeds

US states may seek Microsoft anti-trust extension

It's Windows Vista wot dunnit

Boost IT visibility and business value

Some US states may ask for continued supervision of Microsoft, to ensure the software giant isn't breaching the government's 2001 anti-trust agreement.

Microsoft oversight is due to expire on November 12, but states that signed on to the Department of Justice's (DoJ's) deal with Microsoft may now seek an extension that would last until 2012, according to a report.

States, lead by California and New York, cited complaints from unnamed hardware and software companies over Windows Vista promotional complaints.

Microsoft reportedly said that since the January court hearing it had ended the Windows Vista promotions that had cause the complaints.

The states would need to ask presiding district judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly to extend The Microsoft oversight. The states are reportedly "thinking very hard" about this.

Microsoft is no stranger to legal action over its Windows Vista claims, of course, landing in hot water with consumers over the Windows Vista "capable" program.

Enforcement of the anti-trust deal is different, though. It's easy to question the need for continued oversight eight years after the DoJ's anti-trust case, and you can - easily - argue that the pace of development leaves regulators and oversight trailing in the wake of "progress."

In many ways, Microsoft's certainly adopted such an attitude and clearly thought oversight was something it could pay lip service to during those early days of the settlement. It must have seemed like a wrist slap compared to the original break up order from trial judge Thomas Penfield Jackson.

However, Microsoft has been repeatedly upbraided by those monitoring the company, and it's been forced to modify its behavior and make a more concerted attempt to be open as a result.

State attorneys overseeing the Microsoft Communications Protocol Program (MCPP), created under the settlement to license server and client APIs and communications protocols to outsiders, quickly forced Microsoft to revise the prices it charged to license its software for interoperability and make documentation clear and less onerous to licensees.

Microsoft will always argue for more restrictions on licensing in order to "differentiate" itself against competitors and to deliver a "compelling" integrated experience for its users.

If the complaints surrounding the latest Windows Vista campaign are true, though, clearly Microsoft's old habits die-hard. The only question will be whether three years is sufficient. ®

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.