Bill Gates is confident the courts will see integration of browser technology into Windows as an important innovation and plans to incorporate further applications into the operating system.
Speaking at the Gartner Group's US Symposium, Gates protested that if he kept the operating system static he would go out of business.
"We think it was a pretty obvious thing to get the browser capability integrated into the operating system. For the courthouse to ask if there's any user benefit to that, just look at the history of how it was done before Netscape came along and then decide," he argued.
"We are very, very confident, given the criteria that the appeals court has laid down, that that kind of innovation is a great thing [for users]," he concluded.
He claimed that NT 5 would have significantly better clustering and failover capabilities, and that Microsoft would continue to address the large number of upgrades and patches - heavily criticised by attendees - by enabling more software to be distributed to PCs and servers across a network.
NT server would be available in a number of different versions he said, but Microsoft would not be offering a concurrent licensing scheme for Windows terminal server, despite user requests. He did allude to plans to add transaction management capabilities to a version of NT 5.
Gartner research fellow, Scott Winkler, asked Gates whether middleware companies, such as Iona and Bea, would be squeezed out of business if Microsoft incorporated transaction management into the operating system and give it away free, hinting at the potential for the recurrence of the kind of issues raised by the US Department of Justice case.
Gates? response raised a cheer of approval from the many thousands of IT managers in the audience. "If I sat back and said I don't want to put transaction management into the operating system because someone is charging a lot of money for it then that's a bad deal. Technology doesn't work like that," he said.
However Winkler warned attendees that, given the propensity of people to use applications included with the operating system because it was the easy option, Microsoft could end up with a strong market share for transaction manager even if it turned out to be the weakest technology.
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