Carving Up Gates

What the proposed split of Microsoft means for the company, its rivals, the market--and you

All things considered, it must have been a crummy week to be the king of the software world. If you are Bill Gates (and come on, wouldn't you like to be?), you're used to being cussed by competitors, hounded by regulators and lampooned by late-night comics as the perfect--albeit perfectly rich--geek. But no one, not even Gates, could be comfortable with the idea that one's masterpiece--which happens to be the biggest and most powerful software company on earth--could be taken and sliced in two.

But that's precisely what state and federal trustbusters demanded last week. In a filing submitted to federal...

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