All Settled

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In the end, it went pretty much the way Bill Gates predicted. A federal judge handed Microsoft a resounding win in its antitrust case, endorsing the settlement the software giant reached last winter with the Justice Department and sweeping aside nearly all the stiffer sanctions sought by a coalition of state prosecutors. The ruling did burden Microsoft with a few new restrictions, but the consensus among antitrust lawyers and rival companies is that Gates got off with a slap on the wrist and is now free to extend his empire into new markets such as interactive TVs and handheld devices.