The New Economy is finally here - and to celebrate the digitally-inspired boom, TIME magazine has made Intel boss Andy Grove its 1997 man of the year. But while the California chip-makers are popping champagne corks, the Windows part of the "Wintel" axis has spent the week shrouded in gloom. The Justice Department has sunk its teeth into Microsoft, and neither Janet Reno nor Joel Klein seem inclined to let go.
So why isn't Andy Grove huddled with a bunch of lawyers right now? After all, Intel has more of a monopoly than its cousins in Redmond - 90 percent of the planet's PCs have Intel inside; only 85 percent see Windows. Why is it Grove, not Gates, getting the glory? The simple answer is unchecked ambition - Grove was content to cash in his chips; Gates intends to own desktops, cable boxes and the Internet. It's this last aim where Gate has gone too far, according to the boys at Justice. Gates denies it, but the judge isn't convinced - and the world's biggest software company may yet be found in contempt of court. Look for a ding-dong battle come January 13.
At least Gates can take solace in the large number of TIME Daily readers who still love him. With more than 5,000 votes tallied, this week's Microsoft poll has 42 percent calling for Justice to lay off their hounds. The majority disagree, but they're divided over whether to split Microsoft in two or hand Windows over to the government. With the right moves, could Gates make Man of the Year '98?