Microsoft chief software architect and chairman Bill Gates claims that last week’s breakup order will not have any affect on the company's business until a higher-level court decides the final outcome of the case.

The appeals process is likely to take 12 months or so, and until the final decision comes about, Microsoft will go about its business as usual. Gates said: "between now and then, it doesn't change anything that we are doing as a company."

"We as a company are moving full speed ahead on all the advances I have talked about today, things like speech recognition, the tablet computer and XML-based computing," Gates said, referring to his speech in Taipei, Taiwan earlier today at the World Congress on Information Technology.

"This is a case that will be decided by a higher level court," Gates said. "The right of appeal is a very standard right in the U.S. and all cases of this type are always decided at the level of a higher court."

Gates, who during the day has held a series of meetings, including one with Taiwan's newly elected President Chen Shui-bian, claimed that nobody has asked him about the antitrust case until the press conference.