Microsoft has outlined a new corporate philosophy of competition that could be summed up in these familiar words: "Don't be evil". While speaking at the New America Foundation luncheon, Brad Smith, the general counsel of Microsoft said Microsoft had learned several important lessons since the DOJ's anti-trust lawsuit in 1997:
"The first lesson is this. As creators of an operating system used so widely around the world, we recognize that we have a special responsibility, both to advance innovation and to help preserve competition in the information technology industry. We take this responsibility very seriously."
Smith outlined the "Windows Principles": twelve tenets that will govern Microsoft's approach to competition in the future, even after the US anti-trust ruling expires next year. These principles will be shared around the world and have been posted on their web site. They're not intended to take the place of any legal action or rulings, but instead provide some general guidelines about how Microsoft will conduct itself. Smith explained:
"We've learned that people care not only about what we do but about how we do it. So, our goal today is to be principled, transparent and accountable in our design of Windows as we go forward now and in the future. The principles that we're announcing today assure customers, our industry and regulators alike, that Microsoft is committed to developing Windows in ways that advance innovation for consumers and preserve important and robust opportunities for competition."