Details on Microsoft settlement expected today

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Microsoft and the Justice Department are expected to present a settlement of their antitrust fight to a trial judge today. U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft is expected to hold a news conference later today announcing the details.

The Associated Press , quoting anonymous sources says that:

  • The proposed deal would make it easier for consumers to remove certain features from Microsoft operating systems and install programs from other software makers;
  • The settlement would impose some restrictions on Microsoft during the next five years -- with an extra two more years tacked on to that if the company violates terms of the deal;
  • Microsoft wouldn't have to make complete disclosures of the underlying programming code for Windows operating system, though the company will give developers access to other details about the underpinnings of the operating system;
  • Microsoft must offer a version of Windows without extra features side by side with versions that bundle those features;.
  • Restrictive contracts between Microsoft and computer makers that would discourage them from buying the slimmed-down version are no-nos;
  • Microsoft can continue to offer financial incentives, such as price discounts, to entice computer makers to sell the fatter version of Windows.;
  • Microsoft must continue to offer previous versions of Windows for a fixed period of time;
  • A three-person panel would monitor Microsoft's compliance.
  • However, states involved in the case have apparently decided to ask for more time. State attorneys general who joined in the original lawsuit will apparently ask U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly for an extra four days to a week. If states can't support the federal settlement, they can object during public hearings in an effort to demolish the deal. Or they can take up a separate court case.

    This story, "Details on Microsoft settlement expected today" was originally published by PCWorld.

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