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Microsoft Responds to Government Breakup Proposal

In an open letter published on its Web site, Microsoft Corp. responded today to the U.S. Justice Department's breakup proposal issued on Friday. The letter lauds Microsoft's history of innovation and partnership with other companies, and attacks the Justice Department's proposal.

The letter, signed by Microsoft (www.microsoft.com) chairman and chief software architect Bill Gates, and president and CEO Steve Ballmer, echoed the executives' sentiments expressed at Friday's ad hoc teleconference following the release of the Justice Department's (www.usdoj.gov) proposal.

"For 25 years, Microsoft has worked in partnership with thousands of other technology companies to provide consumers with products that work well together and are innovative, easy to use and affordable. Now the government wants to tear Microsoft apart," the letter reads.

The letter goes on to praise Microsoft's software development - specifically Windows and Microsoft Office, reasserting that Microsoft "never could have created Windows or Microsoft Office under the break-up plan and heavy regulation now proposed by the government." Microsoft's corporate structure is also heavily defended in the letter.

The letter goes on to express confidence that Microsoft will triumph in the appeals process, and holds Microsoft up as a beacon to other technology companies.

"Microsoft has worked hard to try to settle this case without the need for further litigation. In the meantime, we have not only a right, but also an obligation to our shareholders, partners, customers and employees to defend the company through the judicial process; and to stand up for the principles we believe in, including the right of every company to improve its products," the letter concludes. - Isaac Slepner

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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