5 years ago… Microsoft fights DoJ's source code demands

Still rumbles on…has it really been going on that long?
Written by silicon.com staff, Contributor

Still rumbles on…has it really been going on that long?

05.08.98: Microsoft has once again locked horns with the Department of Justice in the run-up to the anti-trust case due to start next month. The software company filed a 30-page document outlining its objections to handing over the Windows source code which it said would be like "handing over the formula to Coca Cola". The company said it would only reveal the source code if it received a satisfactory guarantee that its intellectual property rights would be protected. Microsoft also stipulated that it would only make half of the 16 employees requested available for interview by the DoJ. 05.08.03: It was a battle that continued for another four years with claim and counter-claims in court and a procession of Microsoft rivals wheeled out to complain about the abuse of its dominant position in the market. In the end it was generally agreed that Microsoft got off fairly lightly, with US Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly rejecting calls from nine states for stiffer sanctions against the software giant. But that wasn't the end of it and the upshot is that five years on, the case still rumbles on. Last month the US Department of Justice claimed Microsoft still has not fully complied with a key provision of the settlement by charging competitors too much to view the inner workings of the Windows code. And later this summer an appeal hearing is expected to consider claims from some US states that the deal agreed between Microsoft and the DoJ was not consistent with the public interest. Who knows where, or even when, it will all end but it's certain to involve a few more tears yet. Watch this space.
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