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Microsoft and the Department of Justice have jointly asked a federal court to extend by at least two years the rules the software maker must follow under a 2002 antitrust judgment.
The request was a formality, since the DOJ, with the support Microsoft, had notified Washington, D.C., Federal Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly in May that the filing was coming. The latest filing, which the judge is expected to approve, requests that portions of the ruling be extended to Nov. 12, 2009, with the DOJ having the option of requesting an additional three-year extension. Microsoft has said it won't oppose such a request.
In the previous filing, the Justice Department said Microsoft has had difficulty in improving the technical documentation on certain Windows technology it is required to provide on reasonable and non-discriminatory terms to any software maker. In the 2002 judgment, Microsoft was found to have taken illegal advantage of its monopoly in desktop operating systems by ensuring its software ran better on Windows than competitors'.
The department has raised concerns with the quality of the technical documentation Microsoft provided to licensees, and with the length of time it was taking the Redmond, Wash., company to improve the documentation. The technology in question relates to the protocols used by computer servers to communicate with client PCs running Windows
Microsoft has agreed to rewrite the documentation, and to make the interoperability technology covered under the judgment available for licensing for minimum five-year terms that would run at least through Nov. 11, 2017.