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US District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly has refused Microsoft's request for more time prior to the start of hearings on remedies. Microsoft had complained that the discovery process initiated by the US States who have refused to settle with the company "required more time than the Court's Scheduling Order envisioned," and that "at least four months" more time was needed.

The judge however maintains that the schedule is workable, and that it should be adhered to. Hearings will therefore commence on 11th March.

These however will be twin-track. Microsoft, the Department of Justice and some of the States will be putting forward their proposed settlement document for the judge's approval, while the nine rebel States will be involved in separate hearings dealing with their demands for tougher remedies.

The latter hearings may prove entertaining, if the judge doesn't decide to nip them in the bud fast. According to Microsoft, their discovery requests are particularly wide-ranging; "the non-settling States have already served more requests for documents than plaintiffs served as part of the entire case in chief. During the liability phase, plaintiffs served seven sets of document requests that together consisted of 56 individual requests. By contrast, the non-settling States' first request for production of documents alone consists of 118 individual requests - more than double the number of requests served by plaintiffs during the entire liability phase and nearly ten times the number of requests served by Microsoft on the non-settling States."

Which, considering how much fun some of the previous internal documents were, sounds promising. And - again according to Microsoft - they seem to be going for everything: "Unlike discovery during the liability phase, which focused on Intel-compatible PC operating systems and Web browsing software, the non-settling States' requests encompass myriad Microsoft products and services, ranging from server operating systems and server applications to software for handheld devices and Microsoft's new .NET initiatives relating to XML Web services. Under the guise of pursuing "relief" tailored to the specific conduct found to be anticompetitive by the Court of Appeals, the non-settling States seek massive additional discovery of the sort they might seek had they filed several new and different lawsuits."

So here we go again...? ®

Related stories:
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Open source IE, license MSOffice, says rebel States' pitch

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