Microsoft Settlement Approved By Judge

Legal sanctions to last five years; some unhappy states may appeal decision.

InformationWeek Staff, Contributor

November 1, 2002

3 Min Read

A pivotal decision last week in the 4-year-old antitrust case between the Justice Department and Microsoft came down in Microsoft's favor. U.S. District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly's opinion, issued late in the afternoon on Nov. 1, largely approved a settlement reached a year ago between the software maker and Justice. Nine states that had pushed for tougher restrictions said they would consider an appeal.

For the time being at least, that means the settlement reached in November 2001, and modified in February, will govern Microsoft's actions going forward. Those terms call for Microsoft to disclose some APIs to other developers, give PC makers more leeway in how they implement its software, and offer PC makers uniform contracts. Microsoft chairman Bill Gates said he was "personally committed" to compliance.

Kollar-Kotelly OKs Microsoft-DOJ deal.

Reaction was split along partisan lines, with the dissenting states and Sun Microsystems vowing to keep pressure on Microsoft. But Kerry Gerontianos, president of systems integrator Incremax Technologies Corp. and president of the International Association of Microsoft Certified Partners, was "very happy" with the ruling. Gerontianos says the economy is a bigger issue for his clients than legal wrangling over source code.

Microsoft customer Pedro Villalba, senior VP of IT and chief technology officer with HIP Health Plan of New York, says his problem isn't with Windows' tightly integrated functionality--indeed, that's part of the reason HIP uses the platform. But Microsoft's high prices are causing him to take a look at Linux.

The passage of time has made some of the issues in the antitrust suit less relevant, Villalba says. For example, Web services now make it easier to mix and match software.

Recent InformationWeek Stories On Microsoft

Road Map RedefinedMicrosoft's new blueprint aims more squarely at business processes and collaboration.

Microsoft Will Release APIs To Satisfy MandatesEfforts to comply with last year's settlement of federal antitrust charges could be a boon to software developers.

Gates: Don't Go Breaking My Operating SystemMicrosoft head says shouldn't force Microsoft to fragment Windows.

Microsoft's Plans: Web Services With A SmileImproved relations with customers and developers needed for .Net.

Antitrust Grudge Match Grinds OnMicrosoft Turns Over Key Information; States File New Charges.

Battle Of The Web Browsers, ReduxNetscape's new antitrust suit against Microsoft reopens a years-old battle over whose software will underpin the Web.

Bashing The Bill-BashersIt must be hard to be Bill Gates these days.

Microsoft Deal Calls For DisclosureAntitrust settlement with the Justice Department may give software developers greater knowledge of the inner workings of Microsoft products than they have today.

Business As Usual?Business customers say a lot about Microsoft hasn't changed.

Microsoft's Strategy Unchanged Despite ConcessionsVendor plans to promote Web-services software through its desktop systems and servers.

No Breakup For Microsoft, But Its Troubles May Not Be OverBoth sides leave door open for new talks after appeals court overturns breakup decision.

Microsoft Chafes Under Judge's RestrictionsAs it readies its appeal, vendor says remedies "would be a hardship".

Microsoft's Challenges Run DeepVendor faces a lot more than antitrust questions.

How Relevant Is Microsoft?To maintain its influence in the post-PC world, Microsoft must hit it big with its Next Generation Windows Services.

Ballmer: Verdict Won't Steer Microsoft Off-CourseSurvey shows most companies won't let vendor's legal woes affect purchasing plans.

Never Miss a Beat: Get a snapshot of the issues affecting the IT industry straight to your inbox.

You May Also Like

More Insights