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WideOpenNews/The Register: How the Government Plans to Tie Down the Microsoft Monster

May 01, 2000, 23:04 (3 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Graham Lea)

"Key points of the Proposed Final Judgement: cleanly separated companies, open documentation, and no funny business...."

"The conduct remedies turn out to be tough and fairly comprehensive. There are interim measures while the businesses are being separated that effectively prevent Microsoft getting up to any hanky panky. For the first time, the businesses will be required to play fair and make technical information such as APIs and interface details available to everybody at the same time."

"Recriminations and revenge against those who have dared to give evidence against Microsoft during the trial, or to use competing products, will not be allowed. Microsoft will be unable to use its power to enforce a pattern of behaviour on vendors because it will not be allowed to discriminate between vendors, or use any of the tricks that emerged during the trial. This is one of the most important provisions of the filing, because it effectively removes Microsoft's ability to blackmail vendors, and breaks much of Microsoft's monopoly power...."

"Microsoft will be obliged to allow OEMs access to Windows code in "a secure facility where qualified representatives of OEMs, ISVs, and IHVs shall be permitted to study, interrogate and interact with relevant and necessary portions of the source code and any related documentation of Microsoft Platform Software for the sole purpose of enabling their products to interoperate effectively with Microsoft Platform Software."

"Techno-sabotage will be outlawed: Microsoft won't be allowed to "take any action that it knows will interfere with or degrade the performance of any non-Microsoft Middleware when interoperating with any Windows Operating System Product without notifying the supplier of such non-Microsoft Middleware in writing that Microsoft intends to take such action, Microsoft's reasons for taking the action, and any ways known to Microsoft for the supplier to avoid or reduce interference with, or the degrading of, the performance of the supplier's Middleware."

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