Microsoft chairman and chief software architect Bill Gates reportedly told Bloomberg news that the company would consider opening the source code to Windows if that would help make a settlement in its historic antitrust case. But within hours of the supposed concession, Microsoft spokespeople were busy denying the rumor. It's just not true, says Microsoft.
"We've talked to Bill, and Bill said he never said that \[he'd release the Windows source code to competitors\]," said Microsoft spokesperson Jim Cullinan. "That issue is not even related to this case. All he said was, we would try to do our best to settle this case."
Of course, Microsoft's denial didn't prevent half the computer news sites on the Internet from reporting that the company was ready to hand over its crown jewels. Apparently, Bloomberg news originally reported that Gates said, "Microsoft Corp. would be willing to open the source code for Windows software to competitors to settle the antitrust case filed by the U.S. Department of Justice." However, Bloomberg quickly issued a correction stating that Gates didn't actually say the quote attributed to him, but rather had agreed with the comment. Microsoft and Gates deny this.
"He just said that we would be doing our best to settle the case. Bill did not make any of the comments attributed to him about the settlement," Cullinan said. "The comments they said Bill made are just not true.