Microsoft is not moving fast enough to comply with the settlement terms of its long-running anti trust case, according to the US Department of Justice.
Under the anti-trust settlement Microsoft was forced to provide rivals with reasonable, timely access to Windows to allow them to build products that interoperate with Microsoft's technology.
In the first status report following Microsoft's 2001 antitrust settlement, the DoJ said it was concerned that Microsoft had failed to provide adequate access to the Windows source code.
While Microsoft had made a number of changes to its licensing programme, called MCPP (Microsoft’s Communications Protocol Licensing Program) the DoJ highlighted concerns about the royalty structure and rates proposed by Microsoft.
One condition that angered rivals was Microsoft's charge of $100,000 for companies to examine Windows code to see if they wanted to buy it. If they decline the purchase, only $50,000 is refundable.
In the report the US government said it was most concerned with Microsoft’s implementation of the requirement of Section III.E of the settlement. This requires the software giant to license certain communications protocols on reasonable and non-discriminatory terms in a timely manner.
The DoJ noted that the requirement to provide access to key communications protocols on "reasonable and non-discriminatory terms" was a significant aspect of the Microsoft settlement: "Without it, the US government said the core of the decree would prove "prematurely obsolete,” the Justice Department noted.
In the status report the DoJ said that while Microsoft had made some changes to its licensing programme, it "remained concerned" about the licence terms and warned that "further steps may need to be taken …to account for Microsoft's delayed implementation".
Microsoft said it was continuing to co-operate with the monitoring process and was prepared to make further adjustments to the licensing programme.