Monday night, Microsoft filed a 48-page brief in response to the DOJ's charges. Bill Gates is basically asking a federal judge to throw Reno's case out of court — and he has some pretty powerful allies.
Tuesday morning Dell, Compaq and NEC Packard Bell followed suit, releasing statements saying their Windows 95 licensing agreements would not prevent them from packaging alternative browsers to IE on their computers.
Microsoft's defense hinges on language in the 1996 order that would allow it to integrate new functionality and software into Windows 95, even if the new product competed with software currently sold independently. "The government was fully aware of Microsoft's plans," said William H. Neukom, Microsoft's senior vice president for law and corporate affairs.
It will be days before we know if the judge swallows this line. Still, shareholders were cheered by the attack: Microsoft stock bumped modestly on the news, and finished up 7/16 at 130 5/8.