Grant Gross, IDG News Service
WASHINGTON-- The U.S. Department of Justice asked a U.S. judge today
to extend parts of a Microsoft antitrust order for at least two years
because of the company's delays in supplying technical documentation
to licensees of its communications protocols.
Microsoft agreed with the DOJ's request to extend the order two years
beyond its scheduled expiration in November 2007, the company said in
a statement. The company has also agreed to allow the DOJ and 17
state plaintiffs in the antitrust case to ask for an additional
three-year extension if they still have complaints about Microsoft
The Justice Department is committed to "full and vigorous enforcement"
of the final judgment, J. Bruce McDonald, deputy assistant attorney
general in the DOJ's Antitrust Division, said in a statement.
Companies that want to license the communications protocols will be
able to obtain compete and accurate documentation as a result of the
extension, he said.
Major Remaining Complaint
The state of the technical documentation, used by companies that
license the communications protocols in Microsoft's software, is one
of the major complaints remaining in the antitrust settlement approved
by Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly in November 2002. Kollar-Kotelly, of
the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, must approve an
extension of the settlement order.
Under the settlement, Microsoft was required to license the
communication protocols to other IT vendors interested in developing
server software that works with Microsoft's Windows operating system.
As part of the new agreement, Microsoft will change the way it has
produced technical documentation, now writing it as it develops
software, the company said Friday. The licensing of the protocols will
become part of Microsoft's "regular product development and business
processes," Brad Smith, Microsoft's general counsel, said in a
Microsoft will also create a new interoperability lab in which
licensees can test and debug their protocols and obtain easy access to
on-site Microsoft engineering assistance.
Copyright 2006 PC World Communications, Inc.
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