Looking at the growing popularity of Internet on May 26th 1995 Microsoft redefined and expanded its product line into World Wide Web and computer networking. Windows 95 which featured pre emptive multi tasking was released by the Company on 24th August 1995. This showcased a completely new interface which had 32 bit compatibility and a novel start button. Windows 95 included online service MSN, a web browser and for Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) Internet Explorer. As the Microsoft development team had not been able to finish the web browser by the time the Window 95 boxes were printed the Internet Explorer was not included as a part of Windows 95 but became a part of Windows 95 Plus! Pack. Microsoft partnered with NBC Universal to create a new 24×7 cable news station, MSNBC. A new Operating system (OS) designed for devices with low memory and several other constraints such as personal digital assistants called Window CE 1.0 was created by Microsoft. Microsoft was taken to Federal District court in October 1997 by the Justice Department on the grounds that Microsoft had violated the agreement signed in 1994. It requested the Court to restrain Microsoft from bundling Internet Explorer with Windows.
On 13th January 2000 Steve Ballmer who was an old college friend of Microsoft founder Bill Gates took over as the CEO after 20 years of distinguished service with Microsoft. Bill Gates took over the newly created position of Chief Software Architect. Microsoft joined hand with various companies to form an Alliance in October, 99. The purpose of the alliance was to maximize security and to protect intellectual rights by the identification of software and hardware changes. The Alliance was criticized as a way to restrict the use of software by the consumers and the way computer behaved. The Federal Court on 3rd April 2001 adjudicated in Microsoft v United States and called the company an abusive monopoly. Microsoft came out with Windows XP on 25th October 2001 which unified NT lines and mainstream under NT Code base. In end of 2001 Microsoft released Xbox thus entering the game console market and getting in direct competition with Sony and Nintendo. Microsoft attracted legal trouble one again in March 2004 when European Union started antitrust legal action against it. It charged the company of abusing its dominance with Windows OS. The judgment went against Microsoft and a settlement was made for $613 million. It also forced Microsoft to come out with newer versions of Windows XP that did not have many earlier features.