MS/DOJ: DOJ sticks to plan of breaking Microsoft in two

The US government stuck by its proposal to split Microsoft in two, filing a revised remedies proposal that made only minor changes to its original plan.

US District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson indicated last week that he thought a three-way breakup of the software giant -- which he found guilty of antitrust violations last month -- would be more effective.

However, the Justice Department refiled its remedies proposal to divide Microsoft into two entities: one that builds the Windows operating system and one that oversees the rest of the company's offerings.

Jackson commended as an "excellent brief" a three-way plan drawn up by the Computer and Communications Industry Association and Software and Information Industry Association (CCIA-SIAA). The CCIA-SIAA argued that the Justice Department's original plan would merely create two monopolies where one had existed.

Rather, the trade group suggested cutting Microsoft into three companies -- one with Windows, one with Internet Explorer, and one with applications -- "because Microsoft did not have a browser monopoly when the trial began, but it acquired one in the meantime", the brief said.

The changes in Friday's filing by the Justice Department were mostly technical in nature and stemmed from Wednesday's hearing in Jackson's court, a Department of Justice representative said.

Meanwhile, Microsoft has postponed its Forum 2000 event planned for this week, until June 22.

Forum 2000, which is designed to flesh out the details of Microsoft's Next Generation Windows Services (NGWS), was due to take place Thursday at the software giant's Redmond, Washington headquarters.

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