Industry execs react to judge's findings

Microsoft general counsel Bill Neukom may respectfully disagree with the judge's findings, but the company's competitors and other observers take a rather different view.

Microsoft's Bill Neukom may respectfully disagree with the judge's findings, but the company's competitors and other observers take a rather different view. Here's some initial reaction from the company and some other interested parties:

"We respectfully disagree regarding the subject of monopoly power. There's no segment of economy in this world that's more intensive and competive and provides more rapid innovation than the computer software industry. Microsoft doesn't live the so-called quiet life of a monopoly." – Bill Neukom, Senior VP, Law and Corporate affairs, Microsoft.

"This is a very, very powerful opinion. Former President Ronald Reagan once said, 'Facts are stubborn things.' Microsoft is going to find these facts to be very stubborn indeed. The aura that has surrounded Microsoft that it cannot be stopped has been significantly eroded throughout this trial. This ruling goes further down that road." – Michael Morris, VP and general counsel, Sun Microsystems.

"I have been competing and doing business with Microsoft for years. This behavior does not surprise me, but it is a gratifying ruling. I don't think that when we all go to work on Monday, life is going to be any easier. Microsoft is going to continue to act like Microsoft. This will require additional steps, including remedies, before Microsoft changes behavior and it becomes a more competitive industry" – Mitchell Kertzman, president and CEO of Liberate Technologies and former CEO of Sybase Systems.

"The fact Microsoft is a monopoly is painfully obvious ... Microsoft has been famous for ignoring competition laws the same way you and I ignore no-spitting laws on the street." – Bob Young, CEO, Red Hat Software

"This is another disjuncture of how Microsoft views its place in the community and industry, and how the courts and people outside the company view it" – Marcus Courtney, cofounder, Washington Alliance of Technology Workers

"It looks like the Department of Justice's proposed findings all the way. [Jackson] really seemed to hold in Justice's favor on every issue. ... This increases the likelihood that Microsoft will be found liable for a serious violation of the antitrust laws, and that will set up the conditions for a strong remedy that will restore the market." – Steven Salop, professor specializing in antitrust law, Georgetown University Law Center

"If you take the opinion as a roadmap for remedies, you could make an argument that they should break up the company. I think this will lead to a more competitive marketplace, and it is a signal that Microsoft can't do anything it wants with its market power." – James Love, Director of the Consumer Project on Technology.

"This judge has all but found Microsoft guilty of violating the antitrust laws. All he has to do now is ... add some legalese saying this stuff violates Section 2 of the Sherman Act. ... I'm sure there are going to be nuggets Microsoft will seize on, but they will be few and far between. It looks like this is just about everything the Justice Department could have hoped for." – Robert Litan, director of economic studies at the Brookings Institution.

Reporting from Dan Goodin, Miguel Helft and Alex Lash.*

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