The Main Event

A burst of backroom maneuvering leaves the U.S. and Microsoft on a collision course. The date is set for a September showdown over the future of computing--and the future of cyberspace

Ted Zang spent the morning of Thursday, May 14, standing outside the U.S. District Courthouse in Washington, gripping a bulging briefcase and waiting for his damn cell phone to ring. The reporters rushing past him on their way to the daily Monica stakeout, he knew, were missing out on a more important story. Zang is an antitrust lawyer for New York attorney general Dennis Vacco, and that briefcase bore a thick stack of documents ready to be filed by 20 states in uneasy tandem with the Justice Department's antitrust suit against the world's most powerful software company: Microsoft.

Well, as we...

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