"The tentative settlement calls for a five- year
consent decree between the government and Microsoft governing the
company's conduct, according to people involved in the talks, with
the possibility of a two- year extension if the company violates
the agreement. To try to ensure enforcement, a three-member
advisory committee of independent experts would be set up.
But the people involved in the talks said some state officials
were dissatisfied with the proposed settlement because it did not
have adequate enforcement mechanisms. They were also concerned that
the deal would not effectively prevent Microsoft from leveraging
its monopoly in the operating systems market into computer servers
and hand-held devices.
As part of the deal, Microsoft has agreed to eliminate
restrictive contract terms and pricing deals with personal computer
makers that in the past have effectively left the manufacturers
little choice but to favor Microsoft products over rival