Will Microsoft monopolize? The No. 1 maker of personal-computer software says recent news reports claiming that it plans to capture at least 70% of the market for major applications software are off base.

Such a feat may be desirable, but it's not realistic, says Microsoft Senior Vice-President Michael Maples. At present, Microsoft has no more than 33% of any category of applications for IBM and compatible machines, including spreadsheets, word processors, and graphics.

The question of whether it will totally dominate PC applications software is more than academic: The Federal Trade Commission is studying whether Microsoft's monopoly in operating systems gives it an unfair advantage in applications.

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