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Microsoft ruling: The key remedies

Judge Kollar-Kotelly upheld most of the deal struck last year between Microsoft and the US Department of Justice and nine states. She added only a few measures intended to ensure that Microsoft adheres to the restrictions imposed on it after the company was found guilty of anti-competitive behaviour.

The court ordered Microsoft to:
  • Allow computer manufacturers and users to disable access to middleware programs, such as Web browsers and media players.
  • Create uniform licensing and pricing terms for the 20 largest computer manufacturers.
  • Release code that will allow other companies make products, including servers that work with Microsoft's PC operating systems.
  • Establish a compliance committee of at least three outside members of its board that will appoint an internal compliance officer.
  • Be subject to settlement terms for five years, which a judge may extend by a further two years.
  • Not retaliate or threaten PC manufacturers, software companies or other partners for supporting non-Microsoft software.


The court rejected demands for Microsoft to:
  • Offer a separate version of Windows that excludes any additional middleware programs the company adds.
  • Distribute Sun's Java technology with Windows.
  • Auction the right to sell versions of its Office software for use on non-Windows operating systems.
  • Disclose and license source code used to develop its Internet Explorer browser.


The Executive Summary of the Court ruling is available at www.dcd.uscourts.gov/98-1233summary.pdf

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