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Claim USMS - U.S. makes DOS/Win Public Stds

Category: Science & Technology:Computer Industry JUDGED at 0
Owner:0, Bank
Judge:97, Loophole
due date:2005/01/01

The Claim

The U.S. Justice Department performs an inquiry into whether Microsoft Corporation is properly keeping the interfaces to its operating systems proprietary. The result of this inquiry is a Final Judgement into which Microsoft enters. That Final Judgement requires that Microsoft turn over the source code and API definitions for its operating system products according to the formula proposed by Michael Morris of Sun Microsystems in his July 24, 1994 oped piece in the San Francisco Examiner. This claim will be judged YES if the U.S. Department of Justice forces Microsoft into a Final Judgement which requires that Microsoft,

  1. publicly disclose the MS-DOS 6.X and Windows 3.X operating system products,
  2. place their future development under an oversight committee of industry, government, academic and other interests,
  3. and require that all government agencies buy computer systems adhering to the newly-nationalized operating system standards.
The claim will be be worth $0.30 for any of the three subclaims, with a $0.10 premium paid if all three subclaims appear in the Final Judgement.


Judge's Statement

I will judge based on the wording of the claim unless it is found to be ambiguous. Such ambiguities will be resolved based on my perception of the author's intent.

Microsoft and other publishers do in general make disclosures about Microsoft operating systems APIs; the complaint from industry was, in part, that Microsoft did so too late. A government requirement to disclose the interface to Windows 3.X, for example, wouldn't be very interesting in 1997 because (1) the interface is already well documented, and (2) the interface is obsolete.

A requirement that Microsoft be forced to disclose a later version of both MS-DOS and Windows than the versions mentioned in the claim would also satisfy part 1 of this claim if that later version is based on the earlier version, in the sense that the later version is intended to be largely upward compatible with the earlier version and its implementation includes a substantial part of the code of the earlier version. In this sense, Microsoft's MS-DOS 7.0 is based on Microsoft's MS-DOS 6.x, and Windows 95 is based on Windows 3.x.

The Market

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