Microsoft may be able to develop its next operating system release without the US Department of Justice (DOJ) looking over its shoulder, despite the filing of a requested extension on the terms of its 2003 anti-trust settlement.
The DOJ said in a recent report that it plans to extend the oversight terms of the settlement to the landmark anti-trust case against Microsoft in the US. The DOJ said in the filing that Microsoft has already agreed to the extension.
Originally set to run out in November of this year, the department has filed a request to extend the oversight provisions until May of 2011. In doing so, the oversight would extend through the release of Windows 7 and allow the DOJ's technical committee to resolve any possible issues with the operating system.
"Plaintiffs expect that when they make the determination of substantial completeness there will still be thousands of technical documentation issues that need to be identified and ultimately resolved," read the filing.
"The technical committee and its staff will also still have months of work to perform before they can be satisfied to a reasonable degree of certainty that the documents are of a sufficient quality (i.e., sufficiently complete, accurate, and usable) that plaintiffs can have confidence that allowing the final judgments to expire is appropriate."
Though the extension would push the oversight well beyond the release of Windows 7, the 2011 expiration date would be well before the company plans to release the next version of Windows.
As such, that version of Windows would be the first Microsoft release to be free of US government oversight in a decade.
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