Monopoly finding a "blip" to Microsoft

Microsoft Australia's new managing director, Paul Houghton has described US Judge Jackson's recent finding of fact in the long running anti-trust case against the software giant as "a blip on the radar screen".

In his first address to the local media, US recruit Houghton said Microsoft "wants nothing more than to resolve the case . . .so the distraction goes away from the customers and employees.

"We think [last week's outcome] is one stop in the long process," he said.

Houghton said it is too early to predict "a remedy" for the case, but he personally does not expect Microsoft to be split into separate companies.

"[However], if the company was to be split, I don't think the market would see any change," he said.

Meanwhile, Microsoft announced yesterday [Monday] it will begin offering its software, firstly the Office suite, through an application service provider (ASP) model from May or June next year.

Peter Cray, Microsoft's marketing manager said the company's long term vision is to become a software services company.

"We will move to a model where customers buy services rather than product packages," he said.

Cray predicted in five to 10 years time, Microsoft would deliver software to customers via ASPs, telcos, internet service providers and small service providers.

"But we will only do that in a world where we have constant connectivity," he said.

Cray said he expects at least 10 or 15 local partners to join Microsoft's ASP program in time of next year's full service launch.

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