US District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, Friday, ordered the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Microsoft to enter into "intense settlement discussions" between now and November 2.

Kollar-Kotelly said she expects the sides to work 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and to be reasonable, in order to come to an agreement that satisfies both parties in the antitrust case. If no settlement is in view by October 12, the two parties are ordered to submit to the court the name of a mediator to assist them, or the court will appoint one if an individual cannot be agreed upon, the judge said.

Solution If the two sides still cannot come to agreement by November 2, the judge proposed a schedule for continuing with the remedy phase of this case. Kollar-Kotelly is charged with deciding what remedies should be applied to Microsoft to break its monopoly grip on the operating-system market.

The schedule dictates that the DOJ must enter its remedy suggestions by December 7, with Microsoft taking those into account and entering its own by December 12. The hearing regarding remedies would begin on or around March 11, 2002, said Kollar-Kotelly, who added that the specific date will not be set until the schedule for another trial she is overseeing is worked out. The discovery process, where each side reveals to the other facts and documents relevant to their arguments, would run from November 2 until February 22, giving the sides a 16-week period.

The judge also responded to a joint status report that the two sides filed on September 20. She instructed the DOJ to be more specific than stating it is seeking relief based on the remedies that Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson suggested in an earlier phase of the case.