Judge Criticizes Microsoft for Move on Web Browser

Article excerpt

U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson yesterday criticized Microsoft Corp.'s attempt to comply with his temporary injunction requiring the software giant to remove its Web browser from its popular Windows program.

Microsoft's attorneys said the company complied with the judge's order in the antitrust case when it offered computer makers inferior versions of Windows with its Web browser stripped out. Microsoft had reviewed Department of Justice briefs in deciding how to comply with the judge's order, said company attorney Richard Urowsky.

"It is the government and not Microsoft that is the cause of any confusion that might have been created in the mind of the court and the view of the public," he said.

But Judge Jackson shot back that Microsoft officials should have looked at the language in his opinion and asked for clarification if necessary.

"It is my language and my language alone that is at issue here," he said.

The purpose of yesterday's hearing was to determine whether Microsoft violated Judge Jackson's temporary injunction, as the Justice Department, which initiated the antitrust case, has charged.

The actual trial to determine whether Microsoft is using its monopoly on its Windows software to unfairly enter new markets is expected to take months.

Microsoft lost a public-relations round last month after Judge Jackson ran an experiment in his chambers. He was able to remove Microsoft's Internet Explorer from its Windows program in 90 seconds with a few keystrokes.

Microsoft officials responded that the judge's order forced the company to remove additional pieces of software, and the result is an inferior version of Windows. …