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Friday, 21 December, 2001, 23:21 GMT
Microsoft seeks to delay hearing
Artist's impression of judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly
The remedy hearings are scheduled to begin in March
Microsoft has asked for a four month delay to hearings which will decide what sanctions are taken against the company.

The company said the delay was needed because the move by nine US states who have asked for stricter sanctions had 'dramatically expanded' the case.

The US Justice Department and nine other states have already agreed to settle.

US District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly had intended to hear the case in March next year.

"The Scheduling Order should be amended in view of the non-settling States' dramatic expansion of the scope of the litigation beyond what the Court reasonably could have anticipated three months ago," Microsoft lawyers argued in a brief filed with the Court.

Tougher sanctions

Two weeks ago the nine US states who are holding out against the settlement asked Judge Kollar-Kotelly to impose stricter measures against Microsoft.

They wanted the company to be made to offer a pared-down version of its Windows operating system (OS).

Such a version of the system may remove features such as video and audio players, instant messaging and even the popular Internet Explorer web browser.

It was the inclusion of the Internet Explorer that caused the federal government to pursue its case against Microsoft to begin with.

The states also asked that Microsoft be required to make its software compatible with software developed by other firms, including rival Java.

At the time Microsoft described the measures as "extreme".

Under the settlement put forward by the US government in early November, Microsoft would be prevented from retaliating against computer manufacturers and software rivals who bring out competing products, and must deal with licensing partners on uniform terms.

Also, Microsoft would also be obliged to provide rival software firms with information to allow them to develop competing software programs that interact with the Windows OS.

See also:

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