Microsoft still not in compliance with DOJ interoperability order

Microsoft has a problem complying with Department of Justice orders. Do you think it will treat its business partners any better?

260 employees and several years later, Microsoft still can't manage to document its software to comply with a United States Department of Justice order, as detailed in a progress (?) report but more comprehensively covered on Groklaw. Groklaw writes:

It appears from that record that no matter what Microsoft tries or how diligently they work at it or how many employees they assign to this noble task of providing interoperability documentation, it just can't be done. Microsoft is like Sisyphus of old, working every day with all its might to get that boulder to the top of the hill, only to see it fall back down again, throughout eternity. Of course, you might point out that his troubles are a myth. Microsoft's are real. You think?...

The big picture, to me, is this: Microsoft is *still* not in full compliance with its obligations to provide documentation. That was the issue the DOJ raised two full years ago, and I was teasing Microsoft about it then. Two years later, it's nowhere near as funny.

Maybe the "good ol' Microsoft" never left the room, after all.

I'd encourage you to sift through the report and Groklaw's response. Microsoft feels more like Job Trotter every day: Outwardly smiling to hide a shifty internal countenance. In The Pickwick Papers Trotter eventually comes clean. Will Microsoft?

By the way, I actually do care about the answer, as interoperability with Microsoft is a big deal. I'm just not sure how to accomplish it on fair and level terms, given Microsoft's seeming inability to engage openly on interoperability. If Microsoft treats the US government with this much disdain, how can a business partner possibly hope to be treated any better?

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About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.

     

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