Computer industry experts say a judge's blunt
words in declaring Microsoft a monopoly could hasten a settlement in the case.
They say the judge's language could prompt the usually combative computer giant to seek a truce with the government -- instead of
dragging out the case with court appeals.
Federal Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson has ruled that Microsoft used its dominance of the personal computer software industry to stifle competition, hurting consumers.
While few expected a win for Microsoft in its antitrust trial, the harsh tone of the decision startled many observers.
But one analyst says an appeals court could find the judge's tone extreme, helping Microsoft get the decision overturned.