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The Register: Gates paves way for opening up Windows source

Feb 18, 2000, 16:53 (4 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Graham Lea)

"Bill Gates was reported in a Bloomberg news release last night as saying that 'Microsoft Corp would be willing to open the source code for its Windows software to competitors if that was all it would take to settle the antitrust case filed by the Justice Department'."

"Bloomberg then issued a correction, saying it had been advised by Microsoft that its earlier report of Gates' comment should read: 'Bill Gates agreed with the statement that Microsoft Corp would be willing to open the source code for its Windows software to competitors in order to settle the antitrust case...'

Not much difference, you may well think. Matthew Winkler, Bloomberg News editor-in-chief, proclaimed: 'We stand by our story. He was asked specifically [if Microsoft would be willing to open the Windows source code in order to settle the case] and the answer he gave was yes [if that's all it took].' It turns out that after the on-camera part of the interview for Bloomberg Television had finished, Gates' response to the critical question was not captured on video or audio tape. Although Gates was apparently smiling at the time, there was no elaboration about any unacceptable settlement conditions, which were implied in his response. It could therefore be reasonably assumed that he thought he was speaking off-the-record, so his response could be a reliable indicator of the state-of-play in the mediation. Gates was in San Francisco for the Windows 2000 launch and was interviewed by Dylan Ratigan, the Bloomberg TV anchor."

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