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MS judge to weigh broadening of case

Will consider evidence on new platforms

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The next step in data security

After delivering warnings last week against the unsettling States' broadening their case to the extent that they would, in effect, be starting a new liability trial, Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly has cheered them considerably by allowing them to put forward information on new technologies and devices. This doesn't mean she is going to accept the States' pitch that the current and future generations of software should be taken into account, but it does mean she's going to think about it.

This isn't yet a defeat for Microsoft, but it's not particularly good news. Ideally, Microsoft wants the judge to rule out everything not specifically covered in the case so far, and to focus on narrow remedies for the shopping list of antitrust violations that have been established. As these generally relate to past wars rather than what's going on today, Microsoft can live with the associated raps on the knuckles without having its current business plans overly destabilised.

The States, on the other hand, want to secure far more forward looking remedies, meaning the inclusion of matters that weren't covered earlier and the production of associated witnesses. The judge's agreement to at least hear those witnesses, and her admission that she needs more "factual information," is therefore a step in the right direction for them. It will however lead to considerably more courthouse in-fighting as the two camps attempt to persuade the judge to rule particular pieces of evidence in or out. ®

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