Microsoft Remedy Hearings: States Finish Case

A month after settlement hearings in the Microsoft antitrust case began, lawyers for the nine nonsettling states and the District of Columbia have finished presenting testimony. They believe their testimony bolsters their position that the court should impose more severe punishment than the Microsoft and the US Department of Justice (DOJ) agreement calls for. The states won an impressive number of courtroom battles, most of which included the introduction of new evidence aimed at proving that Microsoft has continued its predatory behavior. Microsoft's remedy hearings will probably continue for another 4 to 6 weeks.

Now that the states and the District of Columbia have completed their portion of the hearings, Microsoft will press its case and has lined up some star power to help. Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates and CEO Steve Ballmer will probably appear in court this week to argue that the nonsettling parties' proposed penalties (including a more modular Windows version that lets users uninstall unwanted middleware) are unfair to the company and impossible to implement. The nonsettling parties refer to this strategy as the "Doomsday Defense" and point to an existing Microsoft product, Windows XP Embedded (XPe), as proof that such a Windows version is possible.

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