The states seeking sanctions against Microsoft have told the judge that disclosure of key pieces of computer code that allows rival software to work with the Windows operating system was their most important demand.
"If you forced us to articulate the single highest priority--that's it," states' attorney Steve Kuney told U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly at the start of final arguments over the best remedy in four-year-old case. Kuney said the sanctions sought by the states would force Microsoft to behave "more like a company facing competition and less like a firm existing in a comfortable monopoly."
The dissenting states put disclosure of technical information at the top of their wish list, just ahead of their demand that Microsoft offer a version of Windows in which add-on features like Internet Explorer and the media player could be replaced by competitor's software. Absent from the states' preferred sanctions was a previous demand for uniform licensing terms and pricing for Windows.
Microsoft has argued that the states demands go way beyond addressing the antitrust violations it actually committed and would harm consumers and the entire computer industry. But Kuney for the states told Kollar-Kotelly that Gates' testimony, in particular, amounted to the notion that monopoly was the preferred form of economic organization.
"Somehow they know better than anyone else what's best for this PC ecosystem. What's good for Microsoft is therefore good for the economy, good for consumers and good for everybody else," Kuney said.
Staff will update this post as the day progresses... we'll wait to hear what Microsoft themselves have to say.
News source: ZDNet