In an amazing victory for Microsoft Corporation, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that Windows 98 was not affected by a temporary injunction placed against the company that forces it to offer a version of Windows 95 without Internet Explorer. This clears the path for Microsoft to deliver Windows 98, as promised, to consumers on June 25.
There are some sticky points, however. The U.S. Department of Justice and several U.S. states are considering separate attempts to block the sale of Windows 98 because they feel that Microsoft is in violation of Sherman anti-trust laws. Any action from these groups is likely to occur this week.
In the December injunction against Microsoft, Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson ruled that Windows 95 "and any successor" to the product would need to be offered in two versions: One with Internet Explorer and one without. The appeals court disagreed.
"The U.S. presented no evidence suggesting that Windows 98 is not an 'integrated product'." Microsoft was happy with the ruling.
"It's a good decision for the consumer and our customers, but this thing is not over yet," said Microsoft spokesman Adam Sohn. "The decision does suggest that Windows 98 clearly is a integrated product.