Locke Attacks Justice Department's MS Decision

“Governor Gary Locke has attacked a ruling to split Microsoft Corporation in two as draconian, unnecessary and unjustified.This decision far exceeds the narrow scope of the Justice Department’s initial inquiry, Locke said. It would harm consumers and inhibit the technology-driven growth of the American economy to which Microsoft has so powerfully contributed. Bankers and investors would retreat from companies, including Microsoft, that are developing highly attractive new technologies, having a major negative impact on emerging concepts. Accepting this decision would create untold problems we never could undo.Locke said Microsoft has been an engine of economic growth for the state of Washington. Besides attracting and employing a uniquely dedicated and creative cadre of information technology professionals, it has spawned numerous innovative and successful startup companies, Locke said. Locke said Microsoft has attracted outstanding faculty and students to our institutions of higher learning, created more job opportunities than the market can fill, substantially enhanced the skills of our work force, and fostered an environment in which technology-based businesses can thrive and grow. The Justice Department’s remedy directly undermines these achievements and would only retard the pace of technological innovation in the state’s economy and that of the nation, the governor said.There is no basis for concluding that the Justice Department’s business model will benefit consumers. To the contrary, the remedy would inhibit Microsoft’s ability to continue to introduce new features to meet consumer needs, such as speech- and handwriting-recognition. It would also prevent the kind of cooperation among operating system and application developers that has led to even more capable computers for all of us, Locke said.The governor said the issue is far from resolved. Microsoft must be granted full due process of law and therefore allowed to present its case before the appellate court, where I am very confident of a very different outcome and Microsoft will be preserved as a single company, Locke said.”