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Y2K more important to MS than DoJ case, says exec

Of course, this is the exec who said he'd lose his job if Win2k didn't ship in Q3...

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John Leftwich, Microsoft marketing vp for EMEA, has been reported as saying in Dubai yesterday that "We are more worried about Y2K" than the antitrust action at present being tried in Washington. Leftwich was in Dubai for talks about Dubai Internet City. Dubai wishes to become the Middle East technology capital, and the DUBAI.COM project is being kicked off by an investment of $200 million in Dubai Internet City. Leftwich, who started his career as a bus conductor in Leeds, also noted yesterday that the DoJ case was "likely to go to the appeals court, and then if we are not successful to the Supreme Court." He evidently was unfamiliar with the Antitrust Expediting Act which allows the DoJ to seek to have the case appealed directly to the Supreme Court, so by-passing the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, where Microsoft has scored several successes with the judges who support the Chicago School. It is looking highly probable that this right of transfer will be used, especially with Judge Jackson's reappointment of Lawrence Lessig to write an amicus curiae brief. His appointment as a special master in 1997 was stayed by the appellate court after an objection by Microsoft to his alleged bias, which Lessig strongly denied in an affidavit. It was less than a year ago that Leftwich and other Microsoft speakers were telling attendees at the Windows 2000 deployment conference in Nice in private that "NT 2000 has to be ready to ship before 3Q of 1999, and if not we are going to lose our jobs". But Ed Muth, group product manager for Windows 2000, was saying: "Y2K will be NT4.0 for most companies. Use SP4 (Y2K support)." It sounds as though Muth then suspected that Windows 2000 would not be released until 2000. ®

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