Microsoft seeks plenty of time in appeal

Microsoft has asked a federal court to give it plenty of time and room to write so it can outline in detail its appeal of a lower court's decision to split the high-tech giant into two companies.

Microsoft has asked a federal court to give it plenty of time and room to write so it can outline in detail its appeal of a lower court's decision to split the high-tech giant into two companies.

Microsoft filed the appeal schedule request with the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia a week after the US Supreme Court decided that it would not hear the antitrust case and would rather have it go through the traditional appeals channel. In filing on Monday, Microsoft said that it wants to heavily expound on the errors it saw in its case before Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson.

On June 7, Jackson ordered Microsoft be split into two companies: an applications company and one focused on operating systems.

Microsoft's principal brief could number between 150 pages and 170 pages long, says spokesman Jim Cullinan. A typical principal brief in an appeals case will number about 50 pages, he suggests.

"We are challenging every aspect of this judgment," Cullinan says. "We leave nothing untouched as far as the appeal. This is not your average case."

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) will respond to Microsoft's appeal schedule filing on Thursday. Then, on Tuesday, October 10, Microsoft will reply again and wait for the court's decision on the appeal schedule.

Microsoft asked the court in its scheduling document for 60 days for both the Redmond, Washington-based company and the DOJ to file principal briefs. Then, Microsoft would receive 30 days to file its reply brief, potentially in the range of 65 pages of arguments. Finally, both parties would be given 90 minutes or more each for oral arguments.

The DOJ and 19 state attorneys general successfully sued Microsoft, contending the company has used its operating system monopoly to try to dominate other markets, notably Internet browsers, and to thwart competition.

Microsoft, in Redmond, Washington, can be reached at http://www.microsoft.com/ The DOJ, in Washington, DC, can be reached on the Internet at http://www.usdoj.gov/.

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