While today’s youths probably think of Microsoft as having more indie cred than a megalithic, secretive tech company like, say, Apple, it was not always so: In the ’90s, Microsoft was hounded by antitrust accusations, culminating in the landmark United States v. Microsoft case filed in 1998.
While the judge in that case ultimately prescribed that Microsoft be split into two separate companies, one to produce the Windows operating system, one to produce other software, Microsoft’s lawyers successfully appealed, and one component of the compromise reached was that the Department of Justice would stringently oversee Microsoft’s activities via a three-person committee. This oversight commenced in 2002, following the final judgment on United States vs. Microsoft; on May 12th, it will come to an end following a meeting today at which the DoJ, 17 states, and the District of Columbia declined to object to that date.
Ars: “There are unlikely to be any immediate implications for Microsoft, with the company saying that it will continue to abide by most of the terms of the settlement anyway … Nonetheless, the removal of court oversight may allow the company to respond a little more quickly, and a little more aggressively, to the actions of its competitors.”
(via Ars Technica)
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