February 18, 1999 5:40 PM PST

Delay in Caldera-Microsoft antitrust trial

Microsoft won a seven-month trial delay in a private antitrust action brought by Caldera, both sides said today.

In granting Microsoft's request for the delay, U.S. District Judge Dee Benson of Salt Lake City, Utah, said at a hearing that the extra time would allow him to thoroughly review and respond to lengthy motions the software giant recently filed in the case, Caldera said. Benson scheduled trial to start on January 17, 2000.

Last week, Microsoft filed nine motions for summary judgment, outlining why the lawsuit ought to be resolved in its favor. Benson scheduled a five-day hearing on the motions to start in mid April.

A seller of the Linux operating system based in Orem, Utah, Caldera accuses Microsoft of illegally tying its DOS and Windows operating systems in order to crush DR-DOS, a competing operating system that Caldera acquired from Novell.

In an interview, Caldera chief executive Bryan Sparks said he was disappointed by the delay. Microsoft "can run but they can't hide," he said.

Microsoft spokesman Jim Cullinan, however, applauded the delay. "We believe this is certainly fair to both parties, and the additional time will not cause any harm for either party."


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