Microsoft is moving more quickly to develop tools competitors can use to create software that runs smoothly on the Windows operating system, a judge overseeing the 2001 antitrust settlement with the Bush administration said.

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Microsoft is moving more quickly to develop tools competitors can use to create software that runs smoothly on the Windows operating system, a judge overseeing the 2001 antitrust settlement with the Bush administration said.


U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, who in October questioned the pace of Microsoft’s efforts to fulfill a key component of the settlement, praised the company at a hearing Wednesday in Washington for its more “pro-active” approach to compliance.


“I’m pleased at the renewed vigor” Microsoft has shown, she said. “We seem to be at least back on track.”


Microsoft said last month that the “Troika” project, designed to ensure that competitors’ programs can run on Windows without glitches, won’t be ready until October 2006, nine months behind schedule.


In court documents filed Wednesday, the company and government lawyers said that by splitting the project into two parts, testing of the software tools can start as early as February.

AmericanWest Bancorp

Columbia Trust


deal is planned


AmericanWest Bancorp in Spokane said Wednesday it plans to acquire Pasco-based Columbia Trust Bancorp in a cash-and-stock deal valued at about $37.75 million. Columbia Trust has four branches, in Pasco, Kennewick, Sunnyside and Yakima.


After the acquisition, AmericanWest would have assets of about $1.4 billion and 46 branches in Central and Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho. The transaction is subject to shareholder and regulatory approval and is expected to close in the first quarter.

Cell Therapeutics

Shareholders file


for potential sale


Two large Cell Therapeutics shareholders may sell up to 9.9 million shares of the Seattle biotech, according to documents filed Wednesday by the company.


Linden Capital and Sunrise Partners acquired about 3.4 million shares of common stock and warrants for 6.5 million more in a private placement closed Nov. 4, as part of a major Cell Therapeutics debt restructuring.


The company would receive no proceeds from any sale of the Linden and Sunrise shares. Its stock dropped 7 cents Wednesday to close at $2.10.


Compiled from Bloomberg News and Seattle Times business staff