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Microsoft probed; new prez named

Microsoft is under federal regulatory scrutiny again, with the Justice Department exploring the software giant's relationships with two other software companies, according to press reports.

In a civil subpoena, the Justice Department recently demanded all internal documents about Microsoft's $135 million investment in Corel Corp., another office software maker, last fall. Microsoft's pending acquisition of Great Plains Software is also being examined.

As it faces its latest legal challenge, Microsoft named Rick Beluzzo president and COO. Beluzzo, 47, has been vice president for Internet and personal device efforts since September 1999. He replaces Bob Herbold as COO.

The latest probe of the aspiring interactive TV player started last month as Microsoft and the Justice Department were preparing to argue last year's broad antitrust case ruling in federal court, which Microsoft is appealing.