Microsoft won't be fractured easily

Over the weekend the DOJ recommended that Microsoft be split into two separate business units, one for its Windows operating system products and one for its application products, such as Microsoft Office.

Houghton complained that the proposed remedy to his company's marketplace monopoly was irrelevant to the "facts of the (proceeding court) case", and would effectively destroy a core ingredient of the business's success: collaboration.

"We think the proposal, as submitted by the Department of Justice, would significantly negatively impact our ability to innovate," he said.

Houghton stressed that Microsoft would attempt to communicate openly with its channel partners throughout the antitrust court proceedings. "Our channel partners understand technology. They understand the marketplace," he said. "We have a very strong vote of confidence in them."

Microsoft will include a "set of proposed (alternative) remedies" in its response to the US government department proposal, due on May 10. However, Microsoft Australia will not know any details of the international company's official response until it is submitted, Houghton said.

Ultimately, he said, "we are confident that we will not be broken up".

"The extensive restrictions that are outlined in the proposal . . . will not be carried forward because they don't have relevance to the facts of the case."

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