RealTime IT News

Microsoft Settles With Burst.com

On the day Microsoft and Burst.com were to square off again in a Baltimore courtroom, the tiny Santa Rosa, Calif.-based company announced that it had agreed to settle its seven-year-old suit against the software giant.

Terms of the settlement, announced on Thursday, weren't disclosed, and executives at the two companies weren't available for comment.

Burst.com, creator of video and audio delivery software for IP networks, claimed that Redmond stole technology and trade secrets acquired during two years of negotiations. It brought suit against Microsoft in June 2002, charging anti-competitive behavior and the violation of state and federal anti-trust laws.

The Burstware delivery system, consisting of a server, conductor and player, is designed to optimize networks while delivering multimedia. The company, founded in 1998, was originally an official Microsoft partner, and expected its technology to be incorporated in Windows Media Player. But instead, the company alleges, Microsoft used its technology without paying for it.

During the trial, Burst.com produced documents it said proved that Microsoft had a policy of destroying e-mail evidence, including a "30-Day E-Mail Destruction Rule" promulgated by Jim Allchin, Microsoft group vice president of platforms.

Following the antitrust investigation of Microsoft brought by the U.S Department of Justice, Microsoft had been ordered in 2000 to preserve all relevant documents in more than 100 class actions and antitrust suits brought against it.

Microsoft and Burst.com must execute a formal agreement in order for the settlement to take effect, and they expect to do that within five days, the companies said.