Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly wasted no time in agreeing with a request from the nine nonsettling states in the Microsoft antitrust case. In a ruling issued late Friday, the judge ordered the company to turn over its Windows source code. The states had asked the judge for the source code so that they could disprove Microsoft's argument that the company can't offer a stripped-down Windows version. "It seems to me that if your side has access to it," the judge told Microsoft representatives, "then the other side, frankly, should have access to it."

Microsoft has been blocking the states' access to the source code since last month, and the states finally turned to the judge with their request. Under the new order, Microsoft must turn over the source code to its newest Windows versions, including Windows XP Embedded--a version that the states believe will be easily customizable because of its component-based design.