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December 18, 1997updated 03 Sep 2016 7:18pm

MICROSOFT COULD FACE INCREASED PRESSURE FROM STATES

By CBR Staff Writer

Attorneys general from nine states held a secret three-day meeting in Chicago last week to plan possible coordinated antitrust action against Microsoft, according to a Reuters report. The states involved were New York, California, Texas, Illinois, Minnesota, Florida, Wisconsin, Connecticut and Massachusetts. No formal decisions were made at the meeting, but discussions are ongoing. The meeting ended on Friday, just as a US District Court Judge issued a preliminary injunction against Microsoft concerning the bundling of Internet Explorer with Windows. Meanwhile, Microsoft said on Thursday it had not heard from any of the state attorneys general. A Microsoft spokesperson also said the company still expects Windows 98 to ship on time in the second quarter 1998, in spite of the latest pressure from the Justice Department, which has requested that Judge find Microsoft in contempt for not complying with Friday’s order. The DOJ maintains that the options Redmond has offered its customers – of either stripping IE from the current version of Windows 95 (thus rendering it inoperable) or using an outdated version of the operating system – do not constitute compliance with the order. Microsoft is playing hardball for now, trying to make the point that IE functions are integral to the current Windows environment. Meanwhile, there is a grassroots movement afoot to prove the software giant wrong, with a growing number of web users now circulating instructions on how to delete all IE files from a hard drive with – they claim – no damage to the operating system.

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