Inexcusable Delay

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

While she acknowledged that the technical documentation project was complex, Kollar-Kotelly made no bones about the fact that Microsoft is culpable for "this inexcusable delay. ... Practically speaking, Microsoft has never complied with ??? III.E," she said.

And while Microsoft eventually proposed a plan that now appears to be producing the type of quality technical documentation required by ??? III.E, it did so in the face of mounting pressure from all the plaintiffs and the court, the judge said.

There was no reason why the type of documentation being created now could not have been created from the start if the necessary resources had been devoted to the project, she said.

"As a result of the delay, the provisions of the Final Judgments have not yet had the chance to operate together as the comprehensive remedy the Court and the parties envisioned when the Final Judgments were entered," Kollar-Kotelly said.

But, in spite of all that, the extension should not be viewed as a sanction against Microsoft, but rather as "a means to allow the respective provisions of the Final Judgments the opportunity to operate together towards maximizing Section III.E's procompetitive potential," she said in the judgment.

In response, Microsoft issued a statement from Brad Smith, its senior vice president and general counsel, saying that it will continue to comply fully with the consent decree.

Smith tried to put a positive spin on the judgment, saying the Microsoft is "gratified that the court recognized our extensive efforts to work cooperatively with the large number of government agencies involved. We built Windows Vista in compliance with these rules, and we will continue to adhere to the decree's requirements," he said.

Kollar-Kotelly did not rule out the possibility of extending the final judgments even further, saying that her decision not to extend the final judgments beyond Nov. 12, 2009, does not preclude the possibility of doing so in the future.

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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