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Friday, 22 May, 1998, 18:04 GMT 19:04 UK
Court date set for Microsoft
Microsoft browser displaying homepage
Microsoft does not want to go to court on September 8
A US court has set a date for the antitrust case to open against Microsoft.

It is to be September 8, three months earlier than the company hoped for.

Microsoft wanted seven months to prepare and on hearing the date their lawyer John Warden appealed for more time.

"With the greatest respect for your Honor, that isn't enough time for us," he told U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson.

But his appeal fell on deaf ears. Judge Jackson replied: "I tend to believe it is."

Microsoft CEO Bill Gates
Windows 98 hits the shops in June
The decision means that until the hearing Microsoft will be able to bundle their browser, Internet Explorer 4, with Windows 98.

On September 8 Judge Jackson will consider the US government's arguments for a preliminary injunction that would relax restrictions on computer makers.

This would allow manufacturers to remove Microsoft's Internet browser from Windows 98.

The US government also wants Microsoft to add Netscape's competing Navigator browser to Windows 98, and give computer makers more flexibility to customize Windows.

Windows 98 is released

But the US government has decided not to try and block the sale of Windows 98, which will be shipped to computer makers on May 25 to begin testing and installing on PCs.

Netscape browser
Netscape are Microsoft's only rival
"We stopped short of asking for (blocking) the product precisely because we believe in creating options, not restricting them," said Assistant U.S. Attorney General Joel Klein.

Microsoft asked the judge to give it 60 days to get copies of relevant documents from the Justice Department, the states and third-party companies.

It then wanted a further 120 days to interview executives and others from companies who gave information to government investigators, plus another 30 days to file its earliest response to the government's request for the injunction.

See also:

12 Dec 97 | Sci/Tech
Browser wars
21 Apr 98 | Sci/Tech
Microsoft challenges browser ruling
10 Apr 98 | Americas
Microsoft lawyers meet opponents
12 May 98 | Americas
Microsoft charges expected soon
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