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Microsoft Slips Through The Net

In Business This Week


BILL GATES GOT WHAT HE wanted--for now. On Aug. 8, the Feds said they would not take action against Microsoft before the Aug. 24 launch of its Windows 95 operating system. Win95 now seems certain to include ready access to its new Microsoft Network (MSN) online service.

Unfettered for the moment, Microsoft is moving into high gear. Promotional spending for the Windows launch could approach $200 million. And Microsoft set fees for MSN at $4.95 a month for three hours of use, with a yearly subscription price as low as $39.95. Analysts called the pricing shrewd: The charges undercut rivals', but not by enough to alarm the Justice Dept. The Feds, however, say they may yet take action against Microsoft for bundling MSN with Win95. They expect to issue new subpoenas in mid-August seeking more information from rivals.EDITED BY THANE PETERSON

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