Gates: 'Proposed punishment would make us withdraw Windows'

Microsoft chief finishes his day in court with a flourish

Microsoft chief finishes his day in court with a flourish

Microsoft CEO Bill Gates yesterday stepped down from the witness box after a final day of testimony in an attempt to save his company from severe sanctions.

The day followed the usual pattern of word fencing between Gates and the rebel states' attorney Steven Kuney as the latter fought to convince the court that operating restrictions should be placed on the software giant.

The nine litigating states have continued to pursue the case after refusing to agree to the settlement proposed by the US Department of Justice last November.

During his 90 minutes in the stand Gates admitted it would be possible to sell a stripped down version of Windows XP Embedded onto which other manufacturers could add their own applications.

But it was a small concession, as Windows XP Embedded is intended for cash registers and bank machines.

More significant was Gates' assertion that the restrictions under discussion would send his multi-billion dollar company into a 10 year hibernation.

He called the restrictions "ambigious", claiming they were so broad he would be forced to pull Windows from the market.

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