Microsoft settled its antitrust case with the U.S. government in 2002, but nine years later it STILL has to go before a judge to prove it’s being good.
As Dow Jones reports, the company had to show up in court today before district judge Collen Kollar-Kotelly, who is monitoring Microsoft to make sure it complies with the settlement.
She said that Microsoft has made “extraordinary” progress resolving outstanding issues, like documenting technical information that competitors can use.
The lawsuit was originally filed to prevent Microsoft from bundling Internet Explorer with Windows, and at one point a judge ruled that the company should be split in two.
But an appeals court later reversed most of that ruling. Instead, it recommended restrictions on Microsoft’s actions with hardware makers — for instance, it’s not allowed to give special breaks to Dell to prevent it from preinstalling a Google Toolbar — as well as forcing it to disclose technical information about how its products communicate with each other.
Microsoft eventually settled the case along the lines of the appeals court’s ruling.
Meanwhile, IE has suffered market share losses to Firefox, Chrome, and other competing browsers, making the original lawsuit look a bit silly by now..
The settlement expires in May, but that doesn’t mean Microsoft can go back to its old pillaging ways — the company still faces serious oversight in Europe, and any obvious violations in the U.S. would surely land it right in court again.