Written and compiled by the washingtonpost.com
Following are definitions for legal and computer-industry terms frequently used in Post coverage of the Microsoft antitrust trial and in legal documents.
Chicago Microsoft's code name for Windows 95 prior to its release.
Consent decree Agreement entered into by the Justice Department and Microsoft, stating that the software company would cease its allegedly anti-competitive licensing practices for its MS-DOS and Windows operating system software.
DR-DOS Digital Research's alternative operating system to MS-DOS.
Java A high-level, object-oriented programming language developed by Sun Microsystems.
MS-DOS Microsoft's precursor to the Windows operating system. Originally developed for IBM, whose propagation of it is credited with catapulting Microsoft into the limelight of personal computing.
NDA Nondisclosure agreement.
OEM Original Equipment Manufacturer, or, a company that builds and sells hardware.
Operating System The software that computers use to interpret commands. The operating system, or OS, is the "brain" of the personal computer.
OS/2 An operating system jointly developed by Microsoft and IBM. Microsoft abandoned the project to work on Windows, and IBM took over sole management and sales responsibility for the product. IBM's OS/2 can run DOS programs, but DOS will not run programs written for OS/2.
Per-processor licenses A contract Microsoft required of its OEM partners that mandated them to pay for the Microsoft operating system on every computer sold.
Platform A hardware or software standard around which a system can be developed. Most programs will only run on one platform, though there are also some "cross-platform" programs that can be run on more than one. Often used as a synonym of operating system.
Source Code The format of a program before it has been translated into a language that computers can understand.
Windows NT The most advanced version of the Windows operating system. Windows NT allows the computer to perform multiple tasks at the same time (multi-tasking). There are two specialized versions of Windows NT: one for servers one for workstations.
Windows 98 The next generation of Microsoft's Windows 95 operating system.
© Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company