DOJ will keep a close eye on Longhorn

The U.S. Department of Justice is keen on keeping a close eye on Longhorn, Microsoft's next-generation operating system, in order to ensure that MS complies with the antitrust settlement it made with the government two years ago.
Renata Hesse, the Justice Department lawyer in charge of monitoring Microsoft's compliance with the agreement, told a federal judge yesterday that the government wants to look at the software, code-named Longhorn, early enough in its development so that it is not presented as a "fait accompli" that would be difficult to change.
Paul Thurrott believes that the earliest possible date that Longhorn will be released is in mid-2006. Conspiracy theorists will love the fact that the antitrust settlement agreement itself will expire in 2007, so Longhorn may not debut until after the terms of the settlement expire. Microsoft has some ambitious plans for Longhorn, so what this probably means for the average end-user is that Microsoft's next operating system is still some time away.
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