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Microsoft Settlement Approved By JudgeMicrosoft Settlement Approved By Judge

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

InformationWeek Staff

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. Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly

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 Redefined
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