Microsoft will not get involved in any potential acquisition of Disney, the software maker's chairman said late Wednesday.
Bill Gates was responding to a question from Channel Thirteen's Charlie Rose about Comcast's recent surprise bid for Disney and about speculation that Microsoft could become involved in a deal as a partner or as a separate bidder.
"We're not going to be involved in it because we're very focused on software,'' Gates said in the interview aired late Wednesday.
"We're not part of the bid or anything,'' Gates added, confirming analyst skepticism that Microsoft would become involved in a Disney deal.
The founder of the world's biggest software company said "Longhorn," the operating system that Microsoft is working on now, could present as big of a breakthrough as Microsoft's first Windows software, which popularized computers by making them easier to use.
He would not pinpoint the arrival date for the next product, saying it is "ambitious enough that we don't know the date.'' Industry analysts expect the product to debut in late 2005 or 2006.