Windows 7 eyed by antitrust regulators
New OS must toe the line, says analyst, which puts Microsoft on the hot seat
Computerworld - Technical advisers to the antitrust regulators who monitor Microsoft Corp.'s business practices in the U.S. will probe Windows 7, the follow-up to Vista, to ensure it abides by the rules set for the company.
Though few details are known about Windows 7, and those that are available rely on shaky evidence, the three-person panel of computer experts that works for state antitrust officials has a copy of the operating system, according to the status report filed late last month with U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly.
"In addition, the TC [technical committee] has begun to review Windows 7 itself. Microsoft recently supplied the TC with a build of Windows 7 and is discussing TC testing going forward," the report said. "The TC will conduct middleware-related tests on future builds of Windows 7."
Microsoft has been under the eye of regulators since it struck a deal in 2002 that required the company to document communication protocols. The decree also set up the technical committee and forced Microsoft and state and federal antitrust officials to deliver regular reports to Kollar-Kotelly.
Although the decree was originally set to expire in early November 2007, several states objected, and after months of legal back-and-forth between the states and Microsoft, in January Kollar-Kotelly extended the decree's rules and enforcement policies by another two years to November 2009.
"The provisions of the final judgments have not yet had the chance to operate together as the comprehensive remedy the court and the parties envisioned when the final judgments were entered," she said then.
Parts of the 2002 decree requires that for any new feature added to Windows that meets the definition of "Microsoft middleware product," the company must help rivals integrate their similar software with Windows. Last year, Google Inc. argued that Windows Vista's desktop search was a new feature -- not an extension of the search in Windows XP -- thus making it middleware, so Microsoft should be forced to open Vista to other search providers. Microsoft conceded the point before Kollar-Kotelly could rule; Vista SP1, which rolls out to the general user population this month, sports changes that allow users to select non-Microsoft search engines to power Vista's desktop search.
That example is important because it points to the scrutiny Windows 7 will be subjected to. "Microsoft has learned that this oversight is not going away very quickly, and that they have to deal with it proactively," said Michael Gartenberg, an analyst at JupiterResearch. "Their challenge for Windows 7 will be how can they continue to add features that consumers will want that also don't run afoul of regulators?"
- Best iPhone, iPad Business Apps for 2014
- 14 Tech Conventions You Should Attend in 2014
- 10 Desktop Apps to Power Your Windows PC
- How to Add New Job Skills Without Going Back to School
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- The Changing Face of Collaboration in the Enterprise The importance of having enterprise content anywhere is the main focus of this article. Along with this, having an API-based environment with collaborative...
- The 12 PCI DSS 3.0 requirements addressed by Peer 1 Hosting This handy quick reference outlines the 12 PCI DSS 3.0 requirements, who needs to be compliant and how Alert Logic solutions address the...
- Defense Throughout the Vulnerability Life Cycle This whitepaper provides insight into how to leverage threat and log management technologies to protect your IT assets throughout their vulnerability life cycle.
- The Benefits of Automated Log Management This paper discusses the challenges associated with effective log management and enables you to better define best practices and requirements for log management...
- Live Webcast Increasing the Value of Your Reports and Dashboards Learn how incorporating other analytical capabilities such as predictive modeling and visualization can increase the value of your reports and dashboards by providing...
- Four Myths of High-Productivity App Dev Debunked Debunk the main myths surrounding high-productivity application development and how both platforms have overcome them.
- Testimonial: Cystic Fibrosis Trust Peter Hawkins, the Head of IT for Cystic Fibrosis Trust, discusses the role CommVault's Simpana software platform plays in improving the company's information... All Management White Papers | Webcasts