Since 2002 Microsoft has been under supervision by the Department of Justice with the aim of preventing â€œpredatory behaviourâ€ which at that time meant shipping IE6 with PCs. The settled required Microsoft to be supervised internally by a team who had full access to Microsoft’s systems, records, and source code for five years in order to ensure compliance, resulting in a 400 member legal department in Microsoft to supervise compliance.
Now, 10 years later, the supervision, which has been a draining force in Microsoft is finally set to expire.
Attorneys for the Department of Justice and several states told a judge on Wednesday that they would not raise any objections to next month’s expiration of Microsoft’s decade-old antitrust settlement with the U.S government.
"We are pleased with today’s hearing. As was noted by the Court and the plaintiffs, we are on track for the Final Judgments to expire on May 12," said a Microsoft spokesperson.
It is clear the removal of the anti-trust supervision will have an immediate impact on Microsoftâ€™s product roadmap.
One example is that Microsoft is finally tying together Windows and Windows Live, allowing users to log onto their PC using their Live ID, and also to roam with their profile. It is also rumoured that an HTML5 app tied to Windows Live Mail will replace the mail client in Windows 8.
The effect on Windows Phone development is less clear, but what is certain is that Microsoft will be able to move more decisively than for the last 10 years.
Read more at InformationWeek here.