Microsoft chairman Bill Gates claimed last week that he has no outstanding legal issues with the European Commission after he met the body's president, Jacques Santer, about the role of government in IT.
Gates said Microsoft remains 'in constant dialogue' with the Commission over a variety of issues, but that antitrust was not a subject that was discussed last week.
He said: 'We have no outstanding legal issues with the European Commission.
I have met many times with Santer before. The discussion is purely about the role of government in IT.'
'Some governments are doing great things. Encryption and regulations are letting people do things. We have had a good discussion and good relations, and are continuing that,' he said.
When asked about the European Commission's concerns on browser bundling in contracts with internet service providers, Gates insisted he was not aware of them and was not discussing them with Santer.
He also commented on the ongoing US Department of Justice action on browser bundling, claiming: 'There is nothing in that legal dispute that is going to do anything to change what we do.
'The ability of Microsoft to ship fully fitted products has never been an issue. The only issue is if we have to ship crippled products,' he said, referring to the removal of the Explorer browser from the operating system, which Gates claims damages Windows 95.
He continued: 'It is just the Department of Justice's view that we should ship crippled products. It does not affect Windows 98. The development is not affected. It is just a legal thing about licensing.'
He noted that customers are asking for an integrated browser and said features of Windows 98 will be restricted if application programmers cannot have easy icon access to Internet Explorer.
'Three or four years ago, people said browsers would be part of the operating system. It is a natural development of operating systems,' he said, noting that several other manufacturers' of operating systems include browsers.
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