Local MD: we'll fight all the way

Managing director of Microsoft Australia, Paul Houghton, was ‘bullish' about his company's prospects in the coming year.

Houghton said the US-based parent company was going to "fight all the way" against the US Department of Justice's decision to split the company into two divisions, one that makes operating systems and another that makes applications. Houghton was confident the US courts would ultimately rule in favour of Microsoft, and the company would not be broken up.

He said he believed that the US decision, which some analysts say will probably be in appeal for the next year, would have no or little effect on Microsoft's operations in this region. Citing the company's "superior" products and reputation, Houghton outlined some of the company's plans in the coming months, such as beefing up its service and support division, and the launch of new applications, and was adamant that Microsoft will keep its market share.

He dismissed the suggestion by some analysts that the remedies proposed by the US Justice Department would provide "the incentive to ensure the company's applications would work with competing PC operating systems and other platforms". Houghton used the example of Microsoft's development of Macintosh applications as proof of the company's efforts to develop other operating systems.

He was unwilling to comment on the recent decline of Microsoft's shares or whether this would mitigate the Justice Department's decision.

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