Microsoft to Appeal Antitrust Ruling

SAN FRANCISCO (04/03/2000) - As expected, Microsoft Corp. said it plans to appeal today's ruling from U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson that the software giant violated federal and U.S. state antitrust laws.

"While we did everything we could to settle this case and will look for continued opportunities to resolve it, we believe we will have a strong case on appeal," Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates said at a press conference after Jackson's ruling was issued this afternoon.

Microsoft will appeal its case to a three-judge panel of the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia which will examine each aspect of the trial's proceedings, including the procedure, the facts presented and the conclusions of law issued today, Bill Neukom, Microsoft's executive vice president for law and corporate affairs, said at this afternoon's press conference.

The appeals process could take years, and won't begin until after remedies for Microsoft's conduct have been set, a process which in itself could take several months, Neukom said. Remedies that have been proposed by the U.S. states range from breaking the company up into separate parts to placing limits on how Microsoft can do business in future with partners and customers.

Reiterating arguments that the software maker made throughout the trial, Gates said Microsoft has been a great beneficiary to consumers delivering technology that is innovative, easy to use and affordable.

"This ruling turns on its head the reality that consumers know -- that our software has helped make PCs more accessible and affordable to millions," Gates said. "We started with just a few simple ideas and the result has brought innovation, improved productivity, and enormous benefits to consumers."

More to follow.

Microsoft, in Redmond, Washington, can be reached at +1-425-882-8080 or at http://www.microsoft.com/.

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