U.S. judge tells Microsoft: Get on the stick!

WASHINGTON, Sept 25 Thu Sep 25, 2008 7:28pm BST

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WASHINGTON, Sept 25 (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) came under sharp criticism from a U.S. judge on Thursday for being slow to produce technical documents it is required to give software makers as part of a 2002 antitrust settlement.

At a hearing to discuss Microsoft's progress in complying with the settlement, U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly scolded Microsoft for writing in a report that what it had already produced "fully complies with the final judgments."

She disagreed, and insisted that the company work more quickly to produce the systems documents that software makers need to write applications for the Windows operating system.

"The systems documents, as far as I'm concerned, are required," Kollar-Kotelly told the Microsoft team, adding that she wanted to see court oversight of Microsoft ended on schedule on Nov. 12, 2009. "That's not going to happen unless these things get done."

The issue was part of discussions at a hearing held to review Microsoft's compliance with the pact that settled findings the company had abused its dominance in personal computer operating systems.

Microsoft was required to issue licenses for companies who want to write programs for the Windows computer operating system, and provide technical information about Windows to help make the programs work.

The next hearing is set for Jan. 28. (Reporting by Diane Bartz, editing by Maureen Bavdek)

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