No surprise here: DoJ rips MS remedy, Part II

US Government: Basic goals unachieved
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

Ohio and Illinois, the two states that broke ranks with the 17 others suing Microsoft by refraining from calling for a breakup, continued to hold back from calling for a structural remedy, but voiced their agreement that "Microsoft's Proposed Final Judgment is inadequate to remedy the serious violations found by this Court and that the delay sought by Microsoft in its Position as to Future Proceedings on the Issue of Remedy is excessive."

But all 19 state attorneys general and the DoJ agreed that Microsoft's proposed conduct remedies would neither restore competition nor prevent future illegal conduct on Microsoft's part.

In the section of the document regarding original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), the government said Microsoft intentionally misconstrued and misrepresented the scope and nature of the DOJ's proposed conduct remedies.

For example, the government said its OEM provisions were designed to ensure equal treatment for PC makers and to allow them to customise their PCs with non-Microsoft software and the browser of their choice -- not to "rip apart" Windows, as Microsoft said in its filings.

"Microsoft responds by invoking the same unfounded parade of horribles -- infringement of its copyright, reduction in the value of Windows, consumer confusion, and balkanisation of the platform -- that it offered at trial and the Court rejected," the government document said.

The government said Microsoft is also crying wolf over the issue of application programming interfaces, or APIs.

"In fact, nothing in the proposed remedy requires disclosure of any internal interfaces, unless they are actually used by Microsoft applications, separate Microsoft Middleware Products (as narrowly defined by Section 7.p), or Microsoft software installed on a different computer (such as a server or computing device) to interoperate with the Windows platform software running on a personal computer," the government said.

Microsoft more broadly defines middleware to object to the government's remedies covering the software maker's relationship with developers, according to the DOJ.

And in the crucial area of product tying, the government says it is not restricting Microsoft from upgrading or enhancing its operating system and will allow the company to bundle other software with the operating system as long as OEMs and consumers have the option not to buy it.

The government found fault, too, with Microsoft's proposed discovery and evidentiary hearing schedule it submitted along with its proposed final judgement.

"Microsoft's Position as to Future Proceedings on the Issue of Remedy is a transparent effort to delay the determination and implementation of a remedy for its illegal acts as long as possible," said the government.

Back to Part I

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