Push for break-up of Microsoft

Proposed remedies to end Microsoft's OS monopoly will be announced this week, and reports say the US government is expected to push for a breakup of the company.

Proposed remedies to end Microsoft's monopoly in the market for operating systems will be announced this week, and reports say the US government is expected to push for a breakup of the company. The US Department of Justice (DOJ) and 19 US states have until Friday to announce how they propose to punish Microsoft under a schedule set for the "remedy phase" of the antitrust case set by US District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson, but details of the proposal have surfaced as a result of leaks over the weekend to various media by unidentified sources.

Under the proposal, the Office package of business productivity software, including Word and Excel, would be spun off into a separate business, and Microsoft would be subject to restrictions on its conduct until the divestiture, a story in the Wall Street Journal said. Microsoft also would be forced to split off the Windows operating system business from the rest of the company, unidentified people who are familiar with the proposal told the Journal and the Washington Post. The operating system company would be permitted to include browser software, but the Office business would also have rights to Microsoft's Internet Explorer Web browser, the reports said.

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