Antitrust ruling doesn't hinder feds' buying from Microsoft

Antitrust ruling doesn't hinder feds' buying from Microsoft

By Susan M. Menke

GCN Staff

JULY 12—Last month's federal appeals court finding that Microsoft Corp. has engaged in monopolistic business practices does not affect federal purchase or use of the company's software, the General Services Administration confirmed today.

In response to a GCN reader's query about whether agencies could continue to buy Microsoft software, GSA spokesman Bill Bearden said the judicial outcome did not touch on software acquisitions.

'There is nothing [in the court decision] that bars Microsoft from doing business either commercially or with the government,' Bearden said. Nor does the antitrust finding affect Microsoft's ability to perform its contracts, he said.

Microsoft yesterday announced it would change its license terms and reduce pressure on PC makers to preinstall only its Windows XP operating system on their new products. Other companies' browsers and icons can now appear alongside Microsoft's. Some PC makers applauded the announcement, saying it would allow better tailoring for users' needs. Windows XP is set to appear in late October.

Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson had ruled in the three-year antitrust suit that Microsoft must be split into separate OS and application companies, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia set that aside.


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