Microsoft rejects judge's remedy call as antitrust hearing ends

The courtroom arguments in the Microsoft antitrust case drew to a close this week with lawyers for the software giant rejecting...

The courtroom arguments in the Microsoft antitrust case drew to a close this week with lawyers for the software giant rejecting Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly's call for the two sides to list their priorities for a settlement.

For the final day in court Kollar-Kotelly asked both sides to list their remedy priorities.

Steven Kuney, attorney for the nine states that have rejected the settlement Microsoft agreed with the US Justice Department a year ago, said: "Priority number one is disclosure."

He was referring to the state-backed remedy that would require Microsoft to give third-party developers extensive access to Windows technical information, including source code, to ensure interoperability.

Second on the priority list was a provision to give PC makers flexibility in systems configuration while barring any retaliation by Microsoft. "This is absolutely dead-bang central," said Kuney.

Adherence to industry standards was a third priority.

Surprisingly, one remedy that was a focal point of the state's proposed reforms - but wasn't in the top three spots - was a provision requiring Microsoft to produce a stripped-down version of Windows free of the company's other applications.

Other remedies cited as priorities included the distribution of Java with Windows and the porting of Microsoft Office to other operating systems, such as Linux.

Microsoft lawyers, however, rejected the judge's request to provide a list of "least onerous" remedies that still remained "effective as a remedy".

Microsoft attorney John Warden said the state's remedy proposal was "fundamentally flawed in numerous respects," adding that it could not be fixed "by changing a few words here and there".

Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly is expected to deliver her verdict at the end of the summer.

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