Companies in the computer technology industry met todays ruling in the Microsoft antitrust case with competitive zeal, supportive remarks and determined silence.

Among software competitors, the news that the U.S. Court of Appeals had confirmed U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jacksons determination that Microsoft is a monopoly was a major win.

Certainly, its great news, said Mathew Szulik, CEO of RedHat, makers of a competing operating system called Linux. It confirms [Microsofts] predatory behavior.

Szulik believes that todays ruling may provide the industry and consumers with a motivation to seek software alternatives such as Linux. Unlike Microsofts Windows operating system software, Linux is so-called open source software a program that can be manipulated not just by the developer, but by anyone.

And since theres no longer any doubt that Microsoft is indeed a monopoly at least in the governments eyes Szulik believes more customers will be looking closely at their relationship with Microsoft. Do you chose to do business with a company that locks you in, asks Szulik, or a company that put you in the center and builds software around you?

But others in the industry were less eager to speak out.

Many software rivals have kept quiet so far. Were not commenting at all on this matter, said Jennifer Glass, vice president of communications for Oracle, a longtime competitor of Microsoft.

Computer makers, among whom Microsofts Windows software holds the dominant share of the operating system which basically controls how consumers use the computer also had little to say.

We just choose not to comment, says Brad Williams, director of communications for PC maker Gateway. We have a relationship with [Microsoft] and it wouldnt be served by commenting on the matter.

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But the silence may not last long. Along with the appeal court's upholding of Microsofts monopoly status, it also rescinded the judgment to break up the software company, and sent the case back to a