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Microsoft Keeps Sliding

The giant is nearly 20% off its late January highs.

SAN FRANCISCO -- Tech stocks remain on edge following Wednesday's late collapse, and a shaky start from Microsoft (MSFT) - Get Report is keeping the market on the defensive.

Microsoft was down 3 at 147 after hitting 145 1/4, nearly 30 points off its Jan. 29 closing high of 175. Today's losses may be a result of a decision by

IBM

(IBM) - Get Report

TST Recommends

to begin selling computers using

Red Hat Software's

Linux operating system. Microsoft has fallen roughly 30 points this month due to uncertainty surrounding its antitrust trial and disappointing revenue growth at PC giants

Dell

(DELL) - Get Report

and

Hewlett-Packard

(HWP)

. IBM was up 1 11/16 at 172 3/16, while Dell and Hewlett were up fractionally.

Broadcast.com Gets Power Boost

Shares of

Broadcast.com

rallied 11 7/16, or 20%, to 69 5/8 following an upgrade by

Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette

to buy from market perform. DLJ boosted its six-to-12-month price target on the stock to 100 from 40. DLJ helped underwrite the Broadcast.com IPO.

The upgrade may have resulted from Wednesday's announcement from

CMGI

(CMGI)

that it would build and launch a new Internet broadcast company. CMGI was up 2 9/16, or 2.6%, at 100 1/2. The DLJ report states that as the early leader, Broadcast.com has an advantage.

DLJ also says the underlying business dynamics of all "leading Internet names" are stronger than ever," and expects a turnaround in many of the stocks as the outlook for the first quarter become more clear.

Big Names Down Early

Some of the biggest Internet names are on shaky ground today.

Network Solutions

(NSOL)

continues to slide, down another 2 1/2, or 1.8%, at 137 1/2, more than 100 off its Feb. 1 recent high of 254 3/4. Also,

CNet

(CNET) - Get Report

was down 10 5/8, or 8.8%, at 109 3/4, while

Inktomi

(INKT)

was off 3 1/16, or 5.4%, at 53 7/16.