Talk o' the town: Reaction to the Microsoft ruling

Here's what some IT executives, government officials and others are saying about the appellate court's decision to throw out the Microsoft breakup order and send the case back to a lower court:

"There's always the possibility of additional [settlement] talks, and maybe the third time will be a charm."

--Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal

"It's clear that it reverses and significantly narrows the District Court's decision. The ruling lifts the cloud of breakup over the company, reverses the tying [bundling a browser to an operating system] claim, and says clearly that we did not attempt to monopolize the browser market."

--Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates

"The court unanimously found that Microsoft engaged in unlawful conduct to maintain its dominant position in the computer operating systems. This is a significant victory."

--U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft

"Well, the government did find they were a monopoly and that they tried to maintain it illegally ... that can't make them [Microsoft] happy. The practical effect is they will negotiate some kind of settlement short of a breakup."

--Tony Scott, chief technology officer, General Motors Corp.

The message from this decision for America Online, Sun Microsystems Inc. and Oracle Corp. is "stop complaining, stop whining and stop going through people's trash and go back to work."

--Jonathan Zuck, president of the Association for Competitive Technology in Washington, a national education and advocacy group for the technology industry

"Microsoft ought to go back and fix Windows XP before it's shipped. Otherwise, they risk disrupting a significant number of businesses. You don't want OEMs uncertain as to whether they are shipping an illegal product or not."

--Mike Petit, president of the Washington-based Project to Promote Competition & Innovation in the Digital Age, or ProComp. Its members include Oracle and Sun.

"I don't think they have a monopoly. If someone came out with Unix for a PC, and it had the same file structure as Windows, I think it would be an immediate success, at least in business."

--Tammy Fisher, director of user support services, Thomson Financial Services, Rockville, Md.

"I think what Microsoft has done is try to minimize competition, and they got caught. We still have someone trying to lock up the marketplace as opposed to having a more level playing field and fostering more innovation."

--Michael Schmidt, IT manager, Teradyne Inc. in Nashua, N.H.

"[The ruling] sends a clear message to Microsoft that yes, we slapped your head temporarily, but you're not being penalized. There's no teeth behind it."

--Rod Mueller, manager of technology at International Paper Corp. in Memphis

"If I were a couple of months away from [our Windows XP] rollout, I might be more concerned because then you start to wonder, 'OK, with this decision, what is the future going to bring with the next iteration of this operating system?' "

--Bruce Schmidt, workstation configuration team leader, Atco I-Tek, Edmonton, Alberta

"The decision ... in the Microsoft case is expected to cost Bill Gates billions of dollars. The billionaire said he will be appealing the decision, which marks the first time Bill Gates has ever been appealing."

--Comedian Craig Kilborn

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