A look at competing plans to break up Microsoft:


The Justice Department's plan, supported 17 of the 19 states that also filed suit against Microsoft, calls for Microsoft to be split into two parts: one to govern operating systems, and the other for Microsoft Office, the Internet Explorer browser and Microsoft's various Internet properties.


The latest proposal would build on the Justice Department's initial proposal, but would split the company into three parts instead of two. One company would oversee Microsoft's Windows operating systems, a second would govern the popular Microsoft Office software suite and other programs, and the third would be built around the Internet Explorer Web browser.

U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson called the document outlining this plan, filed by the Software and Information Industry Association and the Computer and Communications Industry Association, ``an excellent brief.''