Microsoft will have to divide its operating system from other aspects of its business, according to U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson, who made his ruling in the case Wednesday afternoon after the New York stock markets closed.

The judge’s decision follows the government’s recommendation, which was approved by 17 of the 19 states that joined in the suit against the Redmond, WA-based computer software giant.

Microsoft has promised to appeal Jackson’s decision.

Jackson’s ruling Wednesday follows a string of decisions that seemed to bode ill for Microsoft, beginning Nov. 5, when the judge issued his Findings of Fact that said Microsoft was a monopoly and that it used that monopolistic power to thwart its competition.

On April 3, Jackson declared Microsoft was guilty of engaging in anticompetitive conduct that violated federal and state antitrust law.

The Justice Department asked the judge on April 28 to break Microsoft into two companies, dividing it between its operating systems and everything else. The company countered that breaking up the company would harm the U.S. economy and complained the Justice Department’s plan was too vague.

Continue watching TechRepublic for articles and analysis as Jackson’s decision affects Microsoft and the rest of the IT world.

For more coverage of the decision, check out stories at CNET, CNN News, AP Wire, MSNBC, and other news outlets.
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