Microsoft the Finding: Is an out of court deal on the cards?

Opinion amongst legal experts is mixed as to whether Microsoft and the DoJ will reach a settlement.

Mark Schechter, a partner in the US law firm of Howrey & Simon, does not think the tone of the findings has tipped the scales towards a settlement.

"I have always thought, and nothing in the opinion changed it, that a settlement is extremely unlikely.

The problem, in part, is there are so many parties on the plaintiffs' side and that to reach some kind of consensus is going to be difficult."

But Dana Hayter, an antitrust lawyer with Fenwick and West in the US, said: "If I were Microsoft, I'd want to settle."

Meanwhile, the likelihood that Jackson's findings will inspire a host of other software vendors to follow the likes of Caldera, which has taken Microsoft to court on antitrust grounds, is unlikely, according to Bruce McCabe, research director at Gartner Group.

However Chris Fell, managing director at IDC Australia, disagreed: "I think there's been quite a few people waiting to see what happened and which way the wind was blowing.

"It wouldn't surprise me if there were a series of follow-on actions."

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