The Department of Justice (DoJ) is unlikely to block the launch of Windows 98, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Though as yet unconfirmed, the news caused Microsoft shares to rise 1.47 per cent to $81.875.
Quoting sources near the investigation, the WSJ said the DoJ would ask a District Court judge to force Microsoft to offer a separate version of Windows 98 that hides the Internet browser functionality.
In October, the DoJ sued Microsoft for violating a 1995 Consent Decree. While a definitive decision has not yet been reached in this case, Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson in a preliminary injuction ruled that Microsoft should offer PC vendors the option of offering a version of Windows 95 that does not include the Internet Explorer browser.A similar ruling on Windows 98 would merely perpetuate this situation.
Though Microsoft is currently appealing the injuction, its effect on the market has proved to be minimal: all major PC vendors continue to ship PCs with Internet Explorer installed.
However, the DoJ is still reportedly considering a wider antitrust case against Microsoft.
Separately, press reports said Microsoft will ship Windows 98 on June 95. Microsoft has long maintained the product would be released ?in the first half of 1998?.
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