Microsoft Gets Hearing Delay

Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly delayed Microsoft's antitrust remedy hearings for 1 week (from March 11 to March 18) after the company complained that it needed more time to prepare for new clarifications to the proposed remedies. Although Microsoft had asked for a 2-week delay, a time period the judge ruled was "way too long," she granted a 1-week reprieve.

In their clarification, the nine nonsettling states and District of Columbia asked the court to require Microsoft to ship a modular Windows version that would let consumers, PC makers, and IT administrators add or remove so-called middleware components (e.g., Internet Explorer--IE, Windows Media Player--WMP, and Windows Messenger) and replace them with competing products. Microsoft had previously complained that the states' plan would require it to create "hundreds or thousands" of Windows versions; the states' clarifications were aimed at disproving that claim. The states say that only one Windows version is required to give consumers a choice.

Last week, Kollar-Kotelly presided over a 1-day hearing to decide whether the proposed settlement between the US government and nine settling states is in the public interest. The judge says that it will take some time for her to reach a decision in that case.

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