DOJ, Microsoft File for Antitrust Extension

Microsoft Corporation and the U.S. Department of Justice have filed formal requests with U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly to give Microsoft an additional two years to finish up technical documentation required as part of the DOJ’s landmark 2002 antitrust settlement with the company. The settlement, overseen by Kollar-Kotelly (PDF), asserted Microsoft had illegally maintained its monopoly in computer operating systems and stifled competition. Terms of the settlement agreement had been scheduled to expire in November 2007; the Justice Department originally proposed granting Microsoft another two years in May 2006.

Under terms of the settlement, Microsoft is required to (among other things) document and license the communication technologies and protocols third party developers need to create products which interoperate with Microsoft’s Windows operating system. However, as of mid-2006, hundred of issues remain outstanding with Microsoft’s documentation: a technical committee working with the antitrust plaintiffs (including 17 U.S. states) found 575 issues with the documentation, with 79 high-priority issues and 414 additional problems.

If Judge Kollar-Kotelly approves the extension, the DOJ and state plaintiffs can ask for another three-year extension if there are still extant problems with Microsoft’s documentation. Microsoft has stated it would not oppose a second extension.

Reactions to the proposed extension are mixed; on one hand, it pushed the antitrust cloud hanging over Microsoft’s head further out into the future, ensuring the already eight year-old issue will linger for at least a decade in the company’s history. On the other hand, critics complain that extending the term let Microsoft skate on complying with terms of the settlement, effectively enabling the company to continue using the business practices which got it into antitrust hot water in the first place.

Microsoft faces similar antitrust concerns in the European Union—where it is appealing possible daily fines—and South Korea.

Computing

Intel Command Center lays foundation for next year’s ‘Arctic Sound’ GPU

Intel revealed its new Command Center driver software at GDC 2019. The updated interface will control current Intel integrated graphics and also lays the groundwork for next year's Intel video card.
Computing

Get the best of both worlds by sharing your data on MacOS and Windows

Compatibility issues between Microsoft Windows and Apple MacOS may have diminished sharply over the years, but that doesn't mean they've completely disappeared. Here's how to make an external drive work between both operating systems.
Gaming

Xbox One X vs. PS4 Pro: Which console is more powerful?

Far from cooling down, the console wars are only getting more intense. We compare Microsoft's Xbox One X to Sony's PlayStation 4 Pro to help you decide which premium console is right for you.
Gaming

How do the revised Xbox One and PlayStation 4 consoles stack up?

Microsoft's new Xbox One S and Sony's PlayStation 4 "Slim" have bucked the generational gaming console trend. But which of these stopgap systems is worth spending your paycheck on?
Gaming

These are the must-have games that every Xbox One owner needs

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From Cuphead to Halo 5, the best Xbox One games offer something for players of every type.
Web

How much!? British Airways glitch results in $4.2M quote for family vacation

Website errors sometimes cause flight prices to display at way below the correct price. But British Airways recently experienced the opposite issue when it tried to charge a family more than $4 million for a vacation in Mexico.
Product Review

Acer Predator Triton 500 review

Nvidia’s new RTX 2080 Max-Q is the fastest GPU you’ll find in any laptop, but it usually comes at a steep price. Acer’s Predator Triton 500, starting at $2,500, makes it a little more affordable. But what must you sacrifice in the…
Computing

Want to save a webpage as a PDF? Just follow these steps

Need to quickly save and share a webpage? The best way is to learn how to save a webpage as a PDF file, as they're fully featured and can handle images and text with ease. Here's how.
Computing

G-Sync and FreeSync can make your games look better, but which is best?

There are some subtle differences between the two adaptive refresh technology offerings, and they affect cost, performance, and compatibility. Nvidia may have released it's feature first, but in recent years AMD has stepped up to the plate…
Computing

Problems with installing or updating Windows 10? Here's how to fix them

Upgrading to the newest version of Windows 10 is usually a breeze, but sometimes you run into issues. Never fear though. Our guide will help you isolate the issue at hand and solve it in a timely manner.
Computing

Delete tracking cookies from your system by following these quick steps

Cookies are useful when it comes to saving your login credentials and other data, but they can also be used by advertisers to track your browsing habits across multiple sites. Here's how to clear cookies in the major browsers.
Computing

Get the Surface Pro 6, with keyboard included, for $1,000 at Microsoft

Thinking of buying a Surface Pro 6? Microsoft is currently running a deal on its latest Windows 2-in-1, letting you bring one home for $1,000 with the keyboard included in the price.
Computing

T-Mobile goes after big cable companies, pilots wireless home internet service

In a shot at big cable companies, T-Mobile is launching a new pilot program to bring an unlimited wireless LTE home internet service to up to 50,000 homes across the United States by the end of 2019.
Mobile

Type away on the best iPad keyboard cases, from the Mini to the Pro

Whether you're looking to replace your laptop with a tablet or merely want to increase your typing speed, a physical iPad keyboard is the perfect companion to the iPad. Check out our top picks for every available iPad model.