Thu, Feb 22, 2001 EST
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Despite Legal Woes — Microsoft is Upbeat

Fox Market Wire

NEW YORK — Many find Rick Belluzzo's corporate climb amazing — 18 months after he started at Microsoft he became the company's new president and COO.

Fox News Channel's Neil Cavuto talked with Belluzzo on Your World.

Belluzzo: Well I'm excited about the new opportunities at Microsoft. We have a lot of ambition to move the PC capability forward, and to breathe life and excitement into it. We have a dot net platforms, consumer products, and services. It's an exciting time for the company.

Q: No offense to you but if it's such an exciting time at the company why are so many top guns leaving?

Belluzzo: Any time you go through a period of change there is always going to be people that make a choice to go elsewhere. And we are in a period of significant transition, as a company. We are moving beyond what was a PC oriented business and expanding to different areas. Again, I think those changes always cause changes in people as well.

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Q: What about the on-going legal cloud over you guys, oral arguments are a few weeks away. Is it bumming people out there?

Belluzzo: I don't believe so, we are focused on the business, and are confident in the appeals process, and confident we will win that process.

Q: Have you gotten any indications from the new justice department to be a kinder and gentler one?

Belluzzo: No, we are not responding to that, we have always felt strong about our legal case, and we continue to feel that the appeals process will make that more clear.

Q: Throughout this whole process we have seen a lot of dot bombing in America with promising Internet companies folding or come close to it. Are you worried that it could not only take your customer base but your own Internet expansion away down the road?

Belluzzo: Well, in the short-term, all of the changes around the dot-com area have affected everyone including our business. The Internet will continue to grow, and develop. The market got overheated and expectations were way too high, and now it is settling down. That is not bad for the industry.

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