Microsoft Uncut

Justice says it won't try to bust up Gates & Co. Critics now fear a remedy that will be toothless

The long-running tech soap opera that is United States v. Microsoft had slogged along for much of the summer without a major twist, so it was fine timing when the Justice Department jumped in last week and moved the plot along. The newest twist: the government announced it is abandoning its long-held goal of breaking Microsoft up into smaller companies.

As declarations not to do something go, this was a significant one. Justice took off the table the one possible remedy that Microsoft has most bitterly opposed. Just as important, it provided some tantalizing clues to the key question that has...

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