The Wind Shifts For Microsoft

Why Gates's courtroom prospects are improving

During Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) landmark antitrust trial, the company often seemed seriously out of touch with reality. When its witnesses were torn to shreds by government lawyers, chief counsel Bill Neukom dismissed the embarrassing spectacle as mere "courtroom theatrics." When Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson ordered Microsoft split in two, Chairman William H. Gates III just shrugged and said he would win the next round. Was the software giant living in a parallel universe where forecasts were always rosy?

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