Microsoft to extend anti-trust deal with US

Microsoft Corp. will commit to following the principles of its 2002 antitrust settlement with the U.S. government beyond its end in late 2007, and in some cases, the company will expand upon those requirements, a Microsoft executive said Wednesday.

Microsoft has a responsibility to encourage both innovation and competition in the IT industry, said Brad Smith, Microsoft’s senior vice president and general counsel, during a speech in Washington, D.C. The company will expand the operating-system antitrust settlement by releasing all of its software APIs (application programming interfaces), for programs such as Microsoft Office, and not just middleware APIs as required in the November 2002 settlement in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

Microsoft will also commit to allow OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) to remove any Microsoft products when shipping a PC with the Windows operating system, not just remove “middleware” that’s tightly integrated with Windows such as Internet Explorer or Windows Media Player, Smith said.

Microsoft will commit to allowing OEMs to switch defaults for applications or remove Microsoft’s products entirely from Windows, he said.

Smith’s policy announcement comes a week after the European Commission fined Microsoft

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