Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson has delayed the release of his conclusions of law in the Microsoft antitrust case in hopes that Microsoft and US Department of Justice (DOJ) representatives can reach a settlement. If reports are correct, the judge is prepared to wait at least a week, giving the sides time to meet and mediate their differences. Sources say that Microsoft now has until April 7 to negotiate a settlement.

The eleventh-hour drama began to unfold last week when Jackson warned Microsoft and the DOJ that a ruling was due Tuesday unless a settlement was reached. The warning prompted Microsoft to submit a proposal full of concessions, including removing Internet Explorer (IE) from Windows and releasing Windows source code to certain third-party developers. Although Microsoft's concessions reportedly didn't go far enough, the government felt that they were weighty enough to merit more talks, so the Judge extended his deadline