Antitrust status conference on tap for Microsoft

Microsoft and antitrust regulators are meeting this week for a status conference on the company's ongoing compliance with the consent decree.

Microsoft and antitrust regulators will be back in federal court on Thursday, for a regularly scheduled status conference on the software giant's compliance with the final judgment order stemming from its historic consent decree .

In preparation for the upcoming hearing, which will be held in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., Microsoft, the Department of Justice, and state antitrust regulators filed a joint status report late last week.

The parties will again address improving the technical documents that Microsoft provides to third-party licensees, which are meant to aid them in making their software interoperable with the Redmond giant's operating system.

Antitrust regulators and the technical committee expressed concerns at the last joint status hearing back in June that Microsoft's overview documents were not sufficient. Microsoft, as a result, drafted additional "system" documents that aimed to provide more details on the interaction between the protocols in various complex scenarios. But after reviewing the templates, regulators and a court-appointed technical committee found they needed revisions.

Once the templates are finalized, Microsoft plans to publish all 19 system document drafts by the end of March, with the final version expected by the end of June.

Meanwhile, Microsoft recently informed the technical committee that the next version of Windows, Windows 7, will have a number of protocol changes and, as a result, will have a number of new and modified technical documents. The technical committee expects to see these documents later this year, according to the joint status report.

During the hearing, the parties may also touch on a complaint made prior to November last year, which the states and the DOJ are investigating. Microsoft declined to comment on the investigation.

 

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