LUXEMBOURG, Sept. 30, 2004 — Immediately prior to the start of a two-day hearing before the Court of First Instance on Microsoft's request for a suspension of the interim measures recommended by the European Commission, Brad Smith , Microsoft Senior Vice President and General Counsel, issued the following statement:
" Good morning. We are very pleased to have the opportunity to be here today in Luxembourg. After six years of debate and disagreement, we hope the Hearing will be constructive for all of us to present our views first-hand to an objective and impartial authority.
" We have a lot of confidence in the strength of our case. There are many constructive steps we could have taken and can still take to address the issues in this case. But the path chosen by the European Commission will harm hundreds of European companies, thousands of European software developers and millions of European consumers.
" We can and we should work together to do better than this. As we'll show in the courtroom during these next two days, people want their computers to be simpler, not more complex. We need to provide consumers with more value, not less.
" We look forward to providing our views to the court. We look forward to showing that the path chosen by the European Commission will hinder innovation and slow economic growth -- especially in Europe. Clearly we can and we should work together to do better than this.
"Thank you very much."
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