Microsoft Corp. on Wednesday was ordered to turn over a copy of the source code for Windows XP Embedded to Professor Lee Hollaar of the University of Utah, and to allow him to inspect the source code for Windows XP Home and Professional.
The order came from Washington District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly and was filed with the Court on Wednesday following a teleconference on Friday between Microsoft and the nine states and the District of Columbia. The nine states have refused to sign off on the proposed settlement in the antitrust case between Microsoft and the Department of Justice.
Wednesdays order allows Hollaar --- and other computer science experts who sign the protective order dated May 27, 1998 --- to inspect the source code for Windows XP Home and Pro. The source code was provided to Hollaar during the mediation phase of the action and is intended for use in settlement efforts.
Kollar-Kotelly also ordered Microsoft to provide Hollaar with a copy of the source code for Widows XP Embedded.
In doing so, Kollar-Kotelly said Hollaar and all other computer science experts retained by the litigating states "shall not use the Windows XP source code for any purpose other than in connection with their work as consulting or testifying experts in this matter … and shall keep the source code in a secure location and take other appropriate steps to prevent the misappropriation of Microsofts intellectual property."
Kollar-Kotelly denied the request by the litigating states for court-appointed expert witnesses.
This is just the latest setback for Microsoft on the legal front. In a brief filed late Tuesday, the litigating states claimed that the proposed settlement between the software maker and the Department of Justice was weak and had not reduced the companys ability to abuse its monopoly in the personal computer operating systems market.
The brief claimed Microsoft had already used its proposed settlement to impose tougher terms on those computer manufacturers who bought its software.
Microsoft spokesman Jim Desler repudiated the claim that it had somehow profited from the settlement with the Department of Justice.
"This suggestion is simply inaccurate," he said.
But adding to Microsofts legal woes was the fact that earlier on Tuesday software developer Be Inc., filed suit against Microsoft alleging that the Redmond, Wash., software giants allegedly illegal and anticompetitive practices were directly responsible for the destruction of Bes business.