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Microsoft Corp has won a further two weeks to complete its formal response to the government’s allegations that it has breached the terms of the 1995 consent decree regarding Windows 95 and its inclusion of Internet Explorer. It won the time from US District Judge Tomas Jackson on the two sides’ first appearance in court since the government’s petition. Jackson said he would not decide for about a month whether or not to allow for a discovery period – the formal process during which documents are swapped between the two sides. The call for discovery would put Microsoft in a stronger position vis a vis the government, which has been gathering information from Microsoft and others for years. Redmond also called for an evidentiary hearing, which would involve witnesses to resolve factually disputes between the parties, and in what must sound like music to Microsoft’s ears, Judge Jackson said he was not sure whether he had the authority to void the non-disclosure agreement part of Microsoft’ some deals, which the feds allege intimidated its OEM customers, such as Compaq Computer Corp and Gateway 2000 Inc.

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