Microsoft Corporation and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) have jointly proposed a timetable under which they will supply written arguments to the Supreme Court that will help the higher court decide whether it will hear Microsoft's case or pass it on to the U.S. District Court of Appeals. The new timetable has Microsoft presenting it's filing by July 26, with the government responding on August 15. Then, Microsoft will file its own reply on August 22 and the Supreme Court will make its decision. Given the general animosity between the two sides during the original trial, this week's cooperation was somewhat unexpected.
Microsoft, of course, will argue that the Supreme Court should allow its appeal to be heard first before the appellate court, which has been friendly to Microsoft in the past. The DOJ wants the Supreme Court to rule on the case quickly, however, arguing that it is in the national interest to complete the appeals process quickly. The Supreme Court is comprised of nine justices: If at least four agree to hear the case, then Microsoft's appeal will be heard by the Supreme Court