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Wednesday, 6 May, 1998, 06:39 GMT 07:39 UK
Gates warns of ripple effect
Microsoft chairman Bill Gates
Bill Gates is due to release Windows 98 next month
Microsoft's chairman, Bill Gates, has warned that any delay to the release of the company's next operating system, Windows 98, would damage not just his firm or even the computer industry, but the entire economy.

He said: "Holding up the release of a major software innovation such as Windows 98 would be like telling General Motors they can't come out with any new cars this fall, or telling Paramount they can't come out with any new movies on July 4th.

"The effects would be profound and would ripple through the economy."

Windows 98 screen
An internet browser is an integral part of Windows 98
He was speaking at a conference of computer industry executives following unconfirmed reports that the US Justice Department might seek to delay the release of Windows 98.

The department's anti-trust division is involved in an ongoing battle with Microsoft over whether the firm is exploiting its dominance in the operating systems market to achieve a similar position in other software sectors such as internet browsers.

An internet browser is an integral feature of Windows 98, which is due to be released to the public in June.

See also:

10 Apr 98 | Americas
Microsoft lawyers meet opponents
21 Apr 98 | Sci/Tech
Microsoft challenges browser ruling
23 Apr 98 | Business
Microsoft nets profit rise
01 May 98 | Business
New Microsoft battle looming
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