Microsoft Split-up: The Gloves Are Off

In an open letter to customers, partners and shareholders, Microsoft's Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer explain how and why the government's proposal to break up Microsoft would harm consumers and other companies in the high-tech industry. Have a look and make up your own mind!

They argue that, because the government seeks to impose severe limits on Microsoft’s ability to work co-operatively with other companies, the government’s proposal would affect not only Microsoft, but also a broad swath of the high-tech industry. Such co-operative efforts among high-tech firms are seen as vitally important to the creative process of high tech innovation.

Microsoft will be comforted to see that investors seem unworried by these latest developments. On the first trading day after the Department of Justice proposed to break up the company, shares of Microsoft surged more than 5 percent. By late Monday afternoon the rise had added more than $15 billion to Microsoft's recently battered stock market value.