Trial date set for Microsoft anti-trust lawsuits

Trial date set for Microsoft anti-trust lawsuits
Tom Foremski
A US judge has set a trial date of September 8 for the anti-trust lawsuits filed against Microsoft, rejecting attempts made by Microsoft to gain as much as a seven month delay in the case.
Microsoft said it is pleased with the decision because it will be able to go ahead with the launch of Windows 98 “without any cloud of government intervention.” Microsoft is reported to be rushing the retail launch and now plans to begin shipments as early as June 15, a full ten days before its official June 25 release date.
If Microsoft can establish a huge user base of maybe as many as 18 million users by the time the court hearings begin, it can claim a major disruption if it is ordered to unbundle its Internet technologies from Windows 98.
The judge also ordered that the two main anti-trust suits be combined into one, agreeing with Microsoft lawyers that they are essentially the same. But the suit could take years to conclude, by which time the main issues in the case will be obsolete as Microsoft moves to new operating systems, retiring Windows 98 and replacing it with Windows NT 5.0.

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