Microsoft Vs. The Feds: Oddsmakers Bet On Bill

Why Justice may not win more than a token Gates victory

It is a Herculean legal challenge. The target of the most important antitrust suit in two decades, Microsoft Corp., has been given just 16 weeks to prepare its defense, less than it would probably get if someone slipped on a banana peel in the headquarter's parking lot. That means that instead of burying opposing lawyers in paperwork--a typical tactic of big companies under attack by the Justice Dept.--Bill Gates's troops are going to have trouble just keeping up.

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