WASHINGTON — U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson has established a briefing schedule in the trial of U.S. v. Microsoft Corp. that will give both sides every opportunity to settle the landmark antitrust suit before he issues a final ruling.

At a status conference yesterday morning, Judge Jackson said he was “virtually disposed” to first issue findings of fact in the case, followed by conclusions of law. Neither side objected to this procedure, which antitrust experts called an unusual approach.