"Promising to work with competitors as well as partners to make the
Internet as pervasive and easy to use as the telephone, Microsoft
yesterday unveiled a sweeping strategy that may change the company
as much as it is designed to transform the Internet. The scale of
the initiative is suggested in the resources Microsoft is putting
behind it. The company is dedicating more than half its $4 billion
research-and-development budget this year to dot-NET, Ballmer
"Microsoft's stewardship of such an all-encompassing system may
give Justice Department regulators and competitors pause. The
company's dominance of personal computers has led critics to
express fear that Microsoft could some day rule the Internet.
"This is Microsoft, full speed ahead, damn the torpedoes," said
Chris LeTocq, an analyst with the Gartner Group. "But if the
(Justice Department) doesn't look at this and say it proves their
point, I'd be surprised."
"Ballmer seemed to bend over backward to address concerns. "We
will run this with the same kind of openness we have run Windows,"
he told a gathering of about 300 media and analysts..."
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