REDMOND, Washington--Microsoft said today it is gratified that District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson denied the Justice Department's petition for an order holding the company in contempt of court for allegedly violating the consent decree. The court has agreed with Microsoft that discovery and further proceedings are necessary before any final decision can be issued. The court ruled that any decision at this time on whether Microsoft is violating the consent decree would be "premature."
Pending further proceedings, the court issued a preliminary injunction concerning the licensing of the Microsoft Windows 95 operating system to computer manufacturers. It allows Microsoft to continue to offer to OEMs the full Windows 95 product, which includes Internet Explorer, as long as each OEM has the option of installing the portion of Windows 95 that does not include Internet Explorer 3.0 or 4.0 files.
"This is a preliminary decision. The court agrees that more fact-finding is necessary and there is now a process for moving forward on this matter," said William H. Neukom, senior vice president for law and corporate affairs at Microsoft.
"We are looking forward to the opportunity to provide further evidence and legal analysis, and we are confident that at the end of the full process we will prevail. We remain confident that continuing to innovate and integrate technologies is good for the software industry and good for consumers," Neukom said. The court also denied portions of the Justice Department's petition that concerned nondisclosure agreements between Microsoft and companies with which Microsoft does business.