Microsoft removed interoperability documents, Feds accuse

The court-mandated committee that is overseeing Microsoft's compliance with its federal antitrust settlement said that

Microsoft has deleted some key information from its previously published protocols and is breaking its word in the process. So says a story in InformationWeek. Microsoft apparently deleted some data on its Windows protocols from its published technical documentation that others use to write Windows software, according to a report filed last week by the Technical Committee overseeing antitrust compliance. The story says:

"The committee, which said it was 'concerned' about the situation, did not specify how many protocols Microsoft has removed from its publicly available interoperability documentation. It added that, in removing the information, Microsoft broke a pact with the committee under which it agreed not to remove protocol elements 'without first discussing it with the TC.'"

On the other hand, the report also suggested that the protocols might not be necessary for software makers to write code for Windows. The deleted info may simply contain data on internal operations within Windows server. The bigger issue, the story says, is that Microsoft has not done much of a job of documenting what changes it has made to its published documents, making it difficult for the TC to see what was edited.

Is this more guile on the part of Microsoft? If it promised not to change anything without discussing those changes with the committee, then it would appear that Microsoft is either trying to pull a fast one or, perhaps, is being unintentional negligent. On the other hand, could the Technical Committee be looking at the whopping big fines that the European Union has levied against Microsoft and hoping to find a reason for its own set of fines? It is hard to tell what goes on behind the scenes of governmental oversight committees and big business. But it is also hard to be suspicious of a monopoly while not being suspicious of the biggest "monopoly" of them all -- the government.

Go to the Microsoft Subnet home page for more news, blogs, podcasts. Red Hat untangles itself from Xen New SharePoint tools arrive from FAST acquisitionWindows 7 and IE8 reviewed for antitrust, but will the US rubber stamp?Microsoft buys TV ad company, Navic Networks20 great Windows open source projects you should get to knowSix free security tools you shouldn't live without

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