Judge Colleen Kollar-Kottely has followed up her interesting decision that Microsoft should allow Windows source code to be independently reviewed by appointing someone characterised by Microsoft as a professional anti-Microsoft expert witness to review it. Which is possibly even more interesting.
She has however denied the States' request for a court-appointed expert.
Professor Lee Hollaar of Utah University has been around the block a couple of times, and has been allowed to look over Microsoft source before, in connection with the Bristol and Caldera antiturst actions. Microsoft roundly denounced him a while back when he wished to file a friends of court brief. At that point he was, according to Microsoft, poised to breach the confidentiality agreements he had signed in order to review the source code.
That was clearly over the top, but it's incontrovertible that Hollaar has worked for Microsoft's antagonists in the past, and that he has done work for DoJ in connection with the government antitrust case in the past. So when Microsoft said he "has made something of a career of testifying against Microsoft," one is inclined to agree, and think, 'yes, and here he comes again.'
Hollaar's previous experience does mean he has a great deal of appropriate background for the job of looking over Windows source code, but as he signed an NDA to only use that information in connection with the Bristol and Caldera cases, that may be more hindrance than help.
He is also clearly vulnerable to more accusations of partiality from Microsoft; but on the other hand, it's difficult to imagine any kind of expert in this field who's not going to end up being objectionable from Microsoft's point of view. He, and other experts to be retained by the States, will again have to abide by a confidentiality agreement covering XP and XP Embedded source code. ®