. . to the Supreme Court. They don't stand a firefly's chance in a blast furnace of getting that appeal (the Supremes got exactly what they wanted out of the CoA), but what they want is enough delays to get XP out the door. They figure the courts will have a hard time pulling it back once it's out there.
The risks may actually be much higher than they calculate. They still think courts bow to market pressure. Suppose they sell XP for three months and the courts say, "drain the channel and stop shipping".
Now a whole lot of companies have a few XP machines incompatible with everything else, and no ability to upgrade the rest of their inventory. What does this do to Microsoft's reputation as a reliable vendor and "the safe choice"?
What does Compaq do with all those "built for XP" stickers and boxes?
Further, they can't stop the advertising. Magazines will be publishing ads for a non-shipping product for months, and Microsoft will have to pay for all of them. How embarrassing.
What if business sees this possibility and holds off on buying PCs until they can be sure of a steady supply of XP?
Cap'n Ahab has returned and driven home a harpoon with an explosive warhead, but the white whale is cruising as if nothing has changed.