Microsoft have won their appeal to have their antitrust case heard in the federal appeals court rather than the US Supreme Court. This move is where Microsoft in 1998 won a previous case with antitrust enforcers. This decision could result in delays to probably between six to twelve months thus allowing Microsoft more time to concentrate on presenting their case and shaping their future business moves.
Earlier this year a US Judge slated Microsoft for illegally defending its Windows monopoly by bullying computer makers and Internet service providers to exclude any rival software. The fact that Internet Explorer Web browser is integrated with its Windows operating system was ensuring that rival browsers were boxed out. The breakup of Microsoft would split Windows from the rest of the company including their top-selling Office suite.
Microsoft feel confident with their case as they stated that this gives them the opportunity to outline a number of legal, factual and precedural errors.
In contrast, the Justice Department stated that compelling public interest should lead the US Supreme Court to review the Microsoft Antitrust case, as effective remedies could restore competitive conditions, protect consumers and allow the software industry to move forwards.
The US Department of Justice and Microsoft now have to place their case before seven judges at the US Court of Appeals. Legal experts stated that this court will give Microsoft the fresh opportunity to shape their legal issues but ultimately it will have to appear at the Supreme Court.