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Gates speaks out on Microsoft-DoJ case

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Taipei Microsoft's Bill Gates held a press conference for the Taiwanese press this afternoon and was a lot more forthcoming than he had been earlier in the day (see separate story) at the World IT Congress on the implications of the US versus Microsoft.

Gates described the DoJ case as "misguided" and compared it to the Apple versus Microsoft court action which his company had successfully weathered.

Asked which of the two Microsoft companies he would work for in the eventuality of a split, Gates described that as hypothetical and said he didn't believe that split would ever happen.

He said: "There are many different aspects to the case. We as a company are moving full speed ahead in speech recognition, the development of XML and other developments. The lawsuit doesn't really affect the work we're doing.

"Our position is very simple. This case wil be decided by a higher level court. The fact the district court refused all precedents is very unusual. We have some period of time before the higher court decision comes down, probably about a year.

"The work we've done is totally pro-competitive work. What's been challenged is that we supported the Internet and Windows. For anyone to challenge that is pretty amazing. To hold that work back is not good for consumers. I won't ever need to answer the question about which of the two Microsofts I will work for.

"The lawsuit is an unfortunate distraction. You won't have me complaining about the overall situation. We had a lawsuit with Apple and we view this law suit in the same way," he said. The way Microsoft viewed it was that it was very time consuming, he added.

He said that developments in fields like Linux, Unix and Java built an atmosphere which helped Microsoft thrive. "People wonder if we'll rise to that challenge," he said. "We'll thrive in that. If anything, that misdirected law suit has drawn us [Microsoft] together. We never said that Microsoft was invincible. Microsoft has made lots of mistakes throughout its history and we've learned from those mistakes." ®

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