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Gates and Ballmer can delay Iowa trip

Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer still have travel plans to Iowa, but they can push off the trip for a while.

According to Microsoft, the plaintiffs in a class-action suit in the 29th state won't call the Microsoft chairman and chief executive. The plaintiffs, who allege Microsoft overcharged Iowans for Windows and Office, had won the right to call the pair of executives as part of their case.

Although the plaintiffs have changed their minds, Microsoft still plans to have Gates and Ballmer testify when it presents its case.

"This doesn't change our strategy to call Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer during our case," Microsoft associate general counsel Rich Wallis said in a statement. "We're still looking forward to both of them coming to Iowa to tell our side of the story."

Microsoft has reached settlements in 17 states. Class-action suits have been dismissed or decertified in 18 states. In Wisconsin and Arkansas, preliminary settlements have been reached. The outcome is still uncertain in two states-- Iowa and Mississippi.