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On 27 September, Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly met both sides of the anti-trust case - centred on allegations that Microsoft illegally tied its Internet Explorer browser software to its Windows operating system - and urged them to work towards a settlement by 2 November.
The judge gave Microsoft and the DoJ until 12 October to develop a settlement plan of their own, but the sides could not agree, and they asked that a mediator be appointed.
As a result, the judge last Friday appointed Eric Green, a professor at Boston University's school of law who has focused much of his career on alternative dispute resolution or finding ways to settle cases out of court.