Feeds

Microsoft accepts US antitrust oversight extension

'Appropriate and necessary'

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Microsoft had agreed to an 18-month extension of federal court oversight of its business practices mandated by its settlement in a landmark antitrust lawsuit.

In court papers jointly filed by the US Justice Department and 17 states, Microsoft agreed to extend supervision until May 2011, rather than in November as previously scheduled. The extension will give government overseers more time to review technical information that Microsoft agreed to provide potential licensees of software that interfaces with the Windows operating system.

"Plaintiffs ultimately concluded that an eighteen-month extension of the final judgments - through May 12, 2011 - is appropriate and necessary," government attorneys wrote. "Microsoft has consented to this extension."

Microsoft agreed to the supervision in 2002 after a federal court found the software maker illegally abused its monopoly in operating systems for personal computers. Oversight was originally scheduled to end in 2007 before being extended to the end of this year. The latest continuation came after the government complained of errors in the technical documentation Microsoft agreed to turn over.

Under the settlement, Microsoft agreed to issue licenses for technology that allows server software to interoperate with Windows. Microsoft was also required to give technical information. Once the oversight ends, the software maker will be permitted to charge a small royalty for some of the technology.

In the US court papers, Microsoft said documents describing its Windows protocols have been downloaded 380,000 times. It also said 52 companies have licensed patents for its communications protocols, and that 15 of them are shipping products. More than 600 people working for Microsoft are involved with the technical documentation, the company added.

Government attorneys indicated Microsoft is making progress in fulfilling its obligations under the settlement.

"While the project has taken longer than any of the parties anticipated, the project is nearly complete," they wrote.

The extension comes as the European Union on Thursday agreed to give Microsoft a yet another extension to respond to charges it has illegally abused its dominant market position by bundling Internet Explorer with Windows. Last year, the EU fined Microsoft a record €899m (£794m) for quashing software competition.

A hearing before US District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly is scheduled for April 22. ®

Website security in corporate America

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
Bono: Apple will sort out monetising music where the labels failed
Remastered so hard it would be difficult or impossible to master it again
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
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?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.