Microsoft Gets Two More Years of Court Oversight

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2008-01-29 Print this article Print

Judge says the delays in releasing the technical documentation for the protocol licensing program is behind her decision.

Microsoft has lost another round in antitrust court, with a new ruling extending by two years federal court oversight of the final judgments issued in the landmark U.S. antitrust case against the software giant.

The decision extends those provisions of the final judgments that would have expired in November 2007 to Nov. 12, 2009, and is based on "the extreme and unforeseen delay in the availability of complete, accurate, and useable technical documentation relating to the communications protocols that Microsoft is required to make available to licensees under Section III.E of the Final Judgments," Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly said in an executive summary of the judgment released Jan. 29.

But the court's decision is less than the five-year extension that seven states -California, Connecticut, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota and Massachusetts-and the District of Columbia had argued for when they claimed Microsoft remained a monopoly.

When the court first entered the final judgments in November 2002, it and the other parties all expected Microsoft to release by February 2003 technical documentation required under Section III.E, the executive summary said.

But that did not happen. "More than five years later, the technical documentation is still not available to licensees in a complete, useable, and certifiably accurate form, despite the fact that III.E was intended to be the -most forward-looking provision' in the Court's remedy," Kollar-Kotelly said.

Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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