USA Today: Microsoft settlement unlikely

“Microsoft’s antitrust prosecutors have widened their sights and
now want to spark immediate competition among PC operating systems
and prevent the software giant from leveraging Windows into
virtually any new market.

Their lofty ambitions, combined with Microsoft’s apparent
unwillingness to give much ground, make the possibility of a
settlement seem remote, though rumors of an out-of-court resolution
swirled Tuesday.

Some lawyers close to the case say the government is most
seriously considering a penalty that would force Microsoft to
license its secret Windows source code to other companies, spawning
different versions of the near-monopoly PC operating system.

Also, the Justice Department and 19 states don’t want to simply
curb Microsoft’s clout in software for desktop computers — which
is widely deemed a stagnant industry, although it is the focus of
the trial. Rather, the government wants to prevent Microsoft from
leveraging Windows into growth markets, such as software for
corporate computers, hand-held devices and cable TV set-top boxes,
say people familiar with the case.”