Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 11th Mar 2008 10:08 UTC, submitted by SReilly
Windows "The court-mandated committee overseeing Microsoft's compliance with a federal antitrust settlement has commenced reviews on the company's next major operating system to ensure it meets the settlement's terms. The so-called Technical Committee recently received a build of Windows 7 from Microsoft and is checking it for any features that might violate the agreement. Presumably, most heavily under scrutiny is whether the OS causes host computers to favor Microsoft applications over third-party software - a practice the federal government cited in its original complaint against the company."
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The increased competition had little to do with the government, it had more to do with the times. During the mid 90's there were still large companies (IBM-OS/2..commercial UNIX vendors etc) and interesting startups (Be, NeXT) that were willing to compete with MS. And actually, it was around this time that Microsoft truly began building monopolistic momentum, notably the effective killing of Netscape with IE and marked by the effective death of OS/2, one of windows' largest competitors..around 1998. The truth of it was that the mid-90's were actually one of the high-points of MS-anti-competitive practices, we are merely witnessing the aftershocks now in the present day. Apple remained as Microsoft's only commercial competition on the desktop, and existed in their own little world for a while, allowing Microsoft to ease back for some time. It is only recently with the surge of OSX and the increasing viability of Linux that Microsoft has gone back on the offensive, and so it appears that the government et. al. may have been keeping microsoft in check during some period, it is more that microsoft didn't seem to be fighting because they had nobody to fight. The only thing anyone can count on with Microsoft is that after crushing Be and IBM, they aren't going to sit back now and let a new threat rise unhindered, they will go back to being the same old "play-dirty" microsoft...just as they've always been.

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