Microsoft has enlisted the help of industry partners it its fight to stop any US government intervention that would delay the launch of Windows 98.
As the grip tightens around Microsoft in its ongoing antitrust case, top executives of 26 companies including Compaq, Hewlett Packard, Dell and Sony have signed a letter urging the Department of Justice not to intervene.
They warned that any delay in the launch of Windows 98 will have a direct effect on the US economy, as more than two million Americans are involved in developing software that runs on Windows, while as many again are involved in related computer services.
The letter, dated 30 April, warns that "interfering with the release of Windows 98 would drag down the entire industry?s efforts to deliver value to customers and returns to shareholders".
With all these companies relying so heavily on Microsoft it appears that they may have had little choice but to sign the letter. Windows is vital to their own business, and so have a vested interest in Windows 98 being released on schedule - having spent millions of dollars developing, marketing and promoting products that depend on the 25 June shipment date.
The action comes amid reports that 13 US states are preparing an antitrust suit against Microsoft in addition to the current DoJ case (see separate story).
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