Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson says he intends to put the remedy phase of the Microsoft antitrust trial on a "fast track", and may push to move the case directly to the US Supreme Court.
Speaking to attorneys from both sides, Jackson said: "My objective is to get this thing before an appellate tribunal one way or another, as quickly as possible, because I don't want to disrupt the economy or waste anymore of your or my time on a remedy."
Jackson said he wants to complete the remedy phase, which may include hearings with witnesses, in 60 days. He planned to meet again with attorneys late this morning to finalize a scheduling order.
On Monday, Jackson ruled that Microsoft violated antitrust law to maintain its monopoly on the PC operating system. Jackson said Microsoft's anti-competitive and predatory actions had hurt competition and innovation in the software industry.
Jackson must now decide what remedies to impose in this case. He asked the attorneys to provide him with their last best-offers made during the mediation talks. But there was some balking.
John Warden, Microsoft's chief trial attorney, warned that public release of the company's mediation offer "went a whole lot farther than we think any litigated remedy that could be justified", according to a transcript of the meeting. He worried that Microsoft's offer, once released to the public, "would be picked apart ad nauseum".
"What I am interested in doing is finding out where each of you is coming from or have come from," said Jackson, who said he might keep mediation offers under "seal", or out of the public eye.
Jackson also said he would invite the government to seek an expedited appeal, and move the case directly to the US Supreme Court. But attorneys from both sides expressed doubt that would be possible.
Meanwhile, corporate end users continue to mull over the verdict and remedy options.
Michael Embry, manager of business intelligence systems at AutoZone, said: "I could actually see where breaking up the company would help. If it opened up the possibility for other innovations from other companies, I think that would be a good thing."
Andy Martin, chief technical officer of Garden.com in Austin, Texas, agreed with the court verdict and said Microsoft has "abused its power for a long time".
"If they break the company up, there is a real good chance Microsoft will get some competition back," said Martin.