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Relief Sets in for Microsoft Workers

November 1, 2002

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REDMOND, Wash. (AP) _ There weren’t overwhelming shouts of joy or high-fives in the hallway, but relief settled in all the same as employees at Microsoft’s headquarters learned that the company’s antitrust struggle with the federal government was coming to an end.

It wasn’t ``like when the stock splits,″ said Randy Ramig, a software design engineer in Microsoft’s mobile devices group, which works on software for wireless products. But he said workers were definitely feeling relieved.

``It just has been a cloud hanging over our heads for a while now ,″ said the 33-year-old Seattle resident who has worked at the company since 1997. ``The last four, five years have been long, it’s been a long, drawn-out process.″

Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates was expected to speak about the judge’s decision at a late afternoon news conference near the Microsoft corporate campus in this Seattle suburb.

The ruling from federal Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly on Friday approved most of the provisions of an antitrust settlement between Microsoft and the Justice Department, denying the wishes of nine states pushing for harsher penalties.

``More than anything else, I’m feeling happy that it seems like we’re one big step closer to just getting this over with,″ said Larry Cohen, director of marketing on the Microsoft brand.


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