COMDEX: Ellison gives solution for MS suit

If Oracle CEO Larry Ellison were asked by the US government what should be done with Microsoft, he would advise them to break the company in two. One of the halves, he says, would be run by Bill Gates, while the other would be the domain of Steve Ballmer, Microsoft's president. Each of the new companies would have access to all of Microsoft's software, assuring that competition would result, he says, envisaging two versions of Office.

If Oracle CEO Larry Ellison were asked by the US government what should be done with Microsoft, he would advise them to break the company in two.

One of the halves, Ellison joked at a press conference, would be run by Bill Gates, while the other would be the domain of Steve Ballmer, Microsoft's president.

Each of the new companies would have access to all of Microsoft's software, assuring that competition would result, he said. So, for example, there would be two versions of Microsoft's Office desktop application suite available, one from Gates' Microsoft, and the other from Ballmer's Microsoft.

"They would have real competition, and you'll get exactly what Bill's been talking about, innovation," Ellison said.

Ellison criticised Microsoft for its strategies, which the US government and a group of US states allege are anticompetitive, and he said Microsoft's hard ball tactics are evidence that the company was scared the Internet would weaken its dominant position.

"The real interesting question is, why would Microsoft repeatedly, knowingly break the law so many times?" he said. "These are smart guys."

"They knew the Internet posed a threat to their existing monopoly, so they were delaying the inevitable," Ellison said.

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