"A visibly impatient federal judge on Wednesday cut off further
delays in the antitrust trial of Microsoft Corp. and appeared
poised to order a breakup of the software giant as early as next
"Rejecting Microsoft's request for more time to present
evidence, U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson blurted to
shocked Microsoft lawyers that "this case has been pending for two
years." He then ordered the Justice Department and lawyers from 17
states and the District of Columbia to submit--by Friday--an
alternative plan to divide up the world's most powerful computer
"Microsoft will have 48 hours to respond to the new government
plan. ... While Microsoft was surprised by indications that
Jackson might move quickly to break up the company, others close to
the Redmond, Wash.-based software giant seem to have been preparing
for the possible split for weeks."
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