Microsoft ruling affects design

This week’s US anti-trust ruling against Microsoft will have an uncertain long-term impact on the computer giant’s UK and global rostered design consultancies.

The “remedy” judgement has yet to be passed by Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson, following his ruling in favour of the prosecuting US government. But, reports suggest that rather than being broken-up Microsoft will be forced to open up its business operations publicly, preventing further domination.

Microsoft has already begun to branch out from software brands, such as FutureBrand Worldwide-designed MSN, towards future products like a forthcoming games console, codenamed X-box, and an unnamed mobile phone software platform developed with AT&T and BT.

A Microsoft UK spokeswoman says: “At the moment it’s business as usual – this has not affected anything at all. The ruling is just one step in a long legal process and we don’t expect to know the outcome, nor any remedy, for a couple of months.”

Other than FutureBrand Worldwide, UK design consultancies which have worked for Microsoft include Nykris Digital Design, The Team, Electronic Ink, which set up a UK office in January, Revolution and PCI Live Design.

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