Microsoft Heads Back to the Battle

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Technology journalists, longing both for closure and for a source of steady news, sighed with relief today as the Microsoft antitrust trial rumbled back up to speed. After an unorthodox three-month break and talk of a settlement that never materialized, Microsoft and the Department of Justice will each begin the process of calling three rebuttal witnesses. Now seems a good time remind ourselves of where we've been, and to ask ourselves where on earth this could all be leading.

When we last left our heroes, they had battled to a standstill on the trial's key questions, such as whether or not it's possible to separate Internet Explorer from the Windows operating system, and whether or not there are commercially viable alternatives to Windows on the market (Linux? Apple?). The consensus is that while the government's lead attorney, David Boies, has performed brilliantly, and Microsoft's team has bumbled, the evidence is ambiguous enough and the legal issues complex enough that neither side has emerged as the clear leader. MORE >>