A federal court will oversee Microsoft's activities into 2009, according to an InfoWorld report. The ruling comes in response to requests from several states, including California and New York, that the consent decree enforcing Microsoft's 2002 antitrust settlement remain in effect until 2012.
According to U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, the extension "should not be viewed as a sanction against Microsoft." The brief extension most likely won't get in the way of Microsoft's plans, says an analyst quoted in the story. Directions on Microsoft analyst Matt Rosoff notes that Microsoft has been careful not to violate antitrust restrictions with new product designs.
For example, BusinessWeek reports:
instead of bundling the suite of free Windows Live software with new computers, it requires users to download the programs.
Oversight in the European Union is even tougher, the story says, because regulators are investigating Microsoft in two different areas -- first with regard to its practice of bundling Internet Explorer with the Windows operating system, and second to determine whether it has withheld certain technical specifications from competitors.