Microsoft has yet to fulfill a key part of its antitrust settlement, according to the latest report compiled by the Department of Justice and the settling states as part of their ongoing monitoring of Microsoft’s activities.
The second in a series of bi-annual reports into the company’s actions once again criticizes the company’s Microsoft Communications Protocol Program (MCPP), under which the Windows communications protocols were released in August 2002.
In the first Joint Status Report released in July 2003, concerns were raised over whether the protocols were being made available on Reasonable and Non Discriminatory (RAND) terms.
The latest report notes that since Microsoft modified the MCPP last summer, including the royalty structure and rates, the program has developed a larger group of licensees, although investigation by the DoJ and settling states indicates that: additional work still needs to be done to develop and improve the MCPP.
In particular, the DoJ and settling states are concerned that the development efforts of the current licensees are not likely to spur the emergence in the marketplace of broad competitors to the Windows desktop.
While this would appear to suggest that the problem lies with licensees’ developments rather than Microsoft, the DoJ and settling states indicate that improvements in the licensing program would be beneficial.
To date, the MCPP appears unattractive to potential licensees with well-defined plans to build products that could enable software on servers to fully utilize the connectivity to the Windows desktop afforded by the CPs [communication protocols] available through Microsoft’s program.
The DoJ and settling states reported that the license and licensing program remain too complex, with a complicated system for calculating royalties, and said the scope of use for communication protocols is limited and difficult to comprehend.
This article is based on material originally published by ComputerWire.