Ellison blasts Microsoft, Gates at Harvard

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison has torn into rival Microsoft during a press session at the Harvard Conference on Internet and Society, calling the software giant's business practices 'patently illegal. Think about it. If you want to build computers, you've got to ask Bill's permission,' Ellison said. 'If Bill wanted to triple the price on Windows, what would you do? You'd pay, you wouldn't have any choice.'

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison has torn into rival Microsoft during a press session at the Harvard Conference on Internet and Society, calling the software giant's business practices "patently illegal."

In the wake of the antitrust lawsuits filed last week by the US Department of Justice and 20 state attorneys general, Ellison gleefully blasted Microsoft and Bill Gates, its chairman and chief executive officer, saying it has "an absolute monopoly."

"What Microsoft is doing is patently illegal. Think about it. If you want to build computers, you've got to ask Bill's permission," Ellison said. "If Bill wanted to triple the price on Windows, what would you do? You'd pay, you wouldn't have any choice."

Referring to Microsoft emails submitted by the government as evidence of Microsoft's illegal attempts to dominate the World Wide Web browser market, Ellison said, "It's a simple strategy. You take what you can't sell, you glue it into the operating system, and you raise the price of the operating system."

While Microsoft has said that government intervention in its business will stifle innovation, Ellison scoffed at its claim, saying that most innovation related to browser technology was done by Netscape Communications, and then Microsoft came in to steal the market.

"What they're doing is not the least bit subtle. The result of all the innovation will be bankruptcy for Netscape," he said, adding that Microsoft's business practices are "more blatant than anything [John D.] Rockefeller ever did." Microsoft has chosen to abuse its monopoly position, and the way it has gone after Netscape is proof, Ellison said.

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