Microsoft responded: "We worked hard to resolve these issues with Symantec, but were not able to reach an agreement. We believe the facts will show that Microsoft's actions were proper and are fully consistent with the contract between Veritas and Microsoft." A spokesman said the dispute was based on a "very narrow" aspect of the 1996 deal.
The technology that Symantec refers to is due to be incorporated into Vista, the next version of Windows, where it is used to handle storage of large amounts of data on discs. At the centre of the case is an issue whereby Microsoft first entered into a contract with Veritas in 1996 to license volume management technology, and had the option to buyout the rights to Veritas’ code and intellectual property rights, which it did in 2004. Symantec contends, however, that Microsoft has since rewritten the volume management software for its next version of Windows in ways that were not allowed under the original agreement. Symantec Corp. and Veritas Software merged on July 5, 2005.
This case has the potential to further delay Vista from being released.