Windows 98 - 10 days early but court in September

U.S. Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson has set a September 8 court date for the U.S. Department of Justice's antitrust suit against Microsoft.

The date gives Microsoft less time than it wanted to prepare for the court date. The company had requested it be given seven months to respond to the charges filed against it earlier this week, saying that would be a "reasonable" amount of time for it to prepare a response.

Microsoft also asked for the cases filed by the DoJ and the attorneys general of 20 states to be consolidated. Jackson granted that request today.

Also today, Microsoft's Bill Neukom, senior VP for law and corporate affairs, stated that PC makers can begin selling systems with Windows 98 as early as June 15.

A UK spokeswoman explained: "As was the case with Windows 95, some vendors released copies (of the operating system) before the actual launch date." Asked if Microsoft dissaproved of early sales she replied: "No, Microsoft believes this is great for consumers."

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