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Court Bars Microsoft From Shipping Networking Feature

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A federal court is blocking Microsoft from using a networking feature planned for the company's future operating system code-named Longhorn and a service pack for Windows Server 2003 that had been scheduled to come out last year, according to a company that's suing Microsoft over the technology.

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in San Francisco granted Alacritech's request for a preliminary injunction to prevent Microsoft from using a TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) offload technology that Microsoft has code-named "Chimney," Alacritech said in a statement today. The technology was to have been included in the Scalable Networking Pack for Windows Server 2003, which was formerly slated for release in the second half of 2004, according to information on Microsoft's Web site.

Microsoft spokesperson Stacy Drake said Wednesday that Microsoft engineers independently developed Chimney. The company has just received the documents on the injunction and is reviewing its options, she said. Drake said that the Scalable Networking Pack has not yet shipped, but she did not know whether the lawsuit had stalled its release. She declined to comment on a possible licensing deal to resolve the dispute.

The preliminary injunction prevents Microsoft from "making, using, offering for sale, selling, importing, or inducing others to use" Chimney, according to Alacritech's statement Wednesday.

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