REDMOND, Wash., Dec. 22, 2004 — We are in the process of reviewing the Order by the Court of First Instance. Although the Court ruled against Microsofts request for interim measures, we are encouraged by a number of aspects of the Courts discussion of the merits of the case.
While the Court did not find immediate irreparable harm from the Commissions proposed remedies, the Court recognized that some of our arguments on the merits of the case are well-founded and may ultimately carry the day when the substantive issues are resolved in the full appeal.
While we had hoped that the Court would suspend some or all of the remedies in the case, we are encouraged that the Court has recognized that Microsoft has a number of powerful arguments that must be considered in the full appeal.
As the Court said, Microsoft established a prima facie case in support of our position on both of the major elements of the case.
We are hopeful that the issues highlighted by the Court will create an opportunity for the parties to discuss settlement. As we have always stated, we believe that there are better ways to address such complex and technical issues, with a minimum of harm to European consumers and the European technology sector.
We continue to believe that the Commissions remedies will bring very few benefits to competitors and consumers in Europe, and will in fact harm many users of the Windows operating system and the thousands of companies across Europe who have built their businesses on the Windows platform.
We believe that the code removal remedy, obliging Microsoft to release a degraded version of the Windows operating system, will be harmful to consumers and competition and undermines the technology integration that has been the backbone of the IT revolution over the past 3 decades.
We will take a close look at the order before deciding on our next steps but we will, as we have always said, comply fully with the Court order when it comes into force, pursuant to contingency plans that have been discussed with the European Commission.
As this process moves forward, we will continue to bring new advances and innovations to European businesses and consumers and we remain committed to working with European governments on a range of important policy issues including privacy, security and applying technology to education.
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