Judge Extends Court Deadline in Microsoft Case

 Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly extended the deadline for both sides in the Microsoft antitrust case, presumably because of the recent terrorist events in the United States. Originally, both Microsoft and the US government were to have filed briefs today outlining their suggestions for the remedy phase of the trial; they now have until Tuesday. Both sides asked for an extension on Wednesday.

Despite the initial delay, the next phase--a joint status report due September 21--is still on. And, of course, Microsoft is still trying to get the attention of the Supreme Court; earlier this week, the company once again asked the higher court to bypass the Appellate Court and throw out its entire verdict.

The biggest recent news in the case, of course, came last week when the US Department of Justice (DOJ) revealed that it won't pursue Internet Explorer (IE) and Windows product-tying charges and won't attempt to break up the company. Microsoft partisans immediately saw this announcement as a huge win for the company, but Microsoft still has obstacles to overcome because, according to the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, the company is still guilty of using various methods to illegally maintain and extend a monopoly. Interestingly, some of those methods include IE. The courts maintain that Microsoft illegally commingled IE code with Windows to make it impossible for PC makers and users to remove IE (a separate charge from product tying), that Microsoft required ISPs to exclusively promote IE over Netscape, that IE overrode Netscape even when users explicitly chose to use Netscape, and that Microsoft forced Apple to make IE the default browser on the Macintosh so that Microsoft wouldn't cancel its crucial Office suite on that platform.

Another issue awaiting Microsoft is Windows XP, which regulators are keen to investigate. XP bundles more applications and features than any previous Windows version.

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