Gates says court case won't affect business

Microsoft chairman Bill Gates says the ruling ordering the breakup of the software giant will not have any effect on the company's business until a higher court decides the final outcome of the case.

          Microsoft chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates said at a press conference here Tuesday that last week's ruling by US District Court Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson ordering the breakup of the software giant will not have any effect on the company's business until a higher-level court decides the final outcome of the case.

          The appeals process is likely to take 12 months or so, and until the final decision comes down, Microsoft will go about its business as usual, Gates said. "Between now and then, it doesn't change anything that we are doing as a company."

          "We as a company are moving full speed ahead on all the advances I have talked about today, things like speech recognition, the tablet computer and XML-based computing," Gates said, referring to his speech here earlier Tuesday at the World Congress on Information Technology.

          "This is a case that will be decided by a higher level court," Gates said. "The right of appeal is a very standard right in the US, and all cases of this type are always decided at the level of a higher court."

          Gates, who during the day has held a series of meetings, including one with Taiwan's newly elected President Chen Shui-bian, claimed that nobody has asked him about the antitrust case until the press conference.

          Microsoft, in Redmond, Washington, can be reached via the Web at http://www.microsoft.com.

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