Any action taken to address Microsoft's antitrust issues in a US court would be reflected directly in the New Zealand market - but don't hold your breath.
Although US District Court Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson released only his finding of facts in the US Department of Justice's antitrust case against Microsoft on Friday - and not his decision in law - his statement was so strong as to immediately provoke talk of either remedies to be imposed on Microsoft by the court, or what action Microsoft might take as part of a settlement.
"Because of the way Microsoft operates, whatever is decided that needs to be done in the US will probably be done here as well, as a matter of course," says Microsoft New Zealand general manager Geoff Lawrie. "We take the same product sets and we're organised in the same way and have the same contracts without customers."
Microsoft New Zealand send out "customer correspondence" yesterday afternoon, says Lawrie, "trying to help people put the ruling in context and have them understand that it's a small step along what is a pretty lengthy legal process and no conclusions of law have been drawn from it.
"There is likely to be an appeals process - and I say that because while it seems to me there's quite an interest in trying to get this behind us from our point of view, the two sides [Microsoft and the DOJ] are in reality quite a long way apart. So it's my view it's going to go to appeal and potentially to the Supreme Court after that."
Lawrie says that could take the case well into the year 2001 "and it's into that time frame before we'd see any consequences for this market. The ultimate conclusion of the case will have some implications for New Zealand but my assessment is that's some way off yet."
Local IT managers did not seem to be rushing to judgement themselves yesterday. Most contacted by Computerworld reporters were still absorbing reports on the strong finding of facts and were unwilling to comment.