Antitrust Decision Looms, MS Postpones Win Confab

SAN MATEO (05/26/2000) - The likelihood that a federal judge next week will recommend that Microsoft Corp. be broken up as punishment for violating antitrust laws has prompted the software giant to postpone a key conference on the future of Windows.

At the Forum 2000 conference -- which Microsoft pushed back three weeks, from June 1 to June 22 -- the company is slated to detail Next Generation Windows Services (NGWS), a server-centric view of computing where a range of devices can access application services over the Internet.

In a statement, Microsoft officials said Friday that with its antitrust trial rapidly coming to a close, and amid indications that U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson will issue his punishment next week, they would postpone Forum 2000.

"There are strong indications that the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., may enter its final decree next week in our continuing antitrust matter, an event that we feel would distract attention and focus from our event next Thursday," the company said in a statement issued Friday.

The announcement was the latest in a series of postponements of Forum 2000 since Chairman Bill Gates first announced NGWS in January.

Based in Redmond, Washington, Microsoft Corp. is at www.microsoft.com.

Bob Trott is an InfoWorld associate news editor based in Seattle.

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