States Request Microsoft Windows Code

Thanks neo1980 for posting this story in our forum yesterday ;) (I didn't see it)

The state attorneys general still pursuing the antitrust case against Microsoft Corp. have asked a federal judge to force the company to show them the inner workings of the Windows operating system.

In a bid to pry open one of the world's most valuable pieces of intellectual property, the states argued they need to see the Windows source code in order to verify Microsoft's claim that it is not technically feasible for the company to offer a stripped-down version of the operating system.

"Microsoft cannot base its defense on the design of its source code and simultaneously deny the litigating states the opportunity to test those arguments by interrogating the code," the states said in their filing.

The motion was filed with U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly on Tuesday and made available on Wednesday.

As part of their proposed sanctions against Microsoft, the states have told Kollar-Kotelly that she should order the company to offer a stripped-down version of Windows, without any additional features such as its Internet Explorer browser.

In demanding to see the Windows source code, the states said the legal questions in the case "cannot be fairly resolved when the very subject matter in dispute is hidden from all but Microsoft's own employees."

Andrew Gavil, a professor of antitrust law at Howard University, said Microsoft could have a hard time refuting that argument.

"This is the equivalent of demanding of Coke that they turn over the formula," Gavil said. "This is exactly what Microsoft wanted to avoid."

News source: Reuters - States Request Microsoft Windows Code

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