Surrounded by lawsuits, anti-trust investigations, and bad press, Microsoft literally hit the streets this week so that it could bring its message to the people. In an ad that appeared Thursday in several national newspapers, Microsoft stood up to its enemies and proclaimed that it should have "the ability of every American company to continually innovate by integrating new technologies and ideas into its products." The ad ran in the Washington Post, Washington Times, New York Times, Seattle Post-Intelligencer and the Seattle Times.

Microsoft's stand is that "the marketplace should determine what innovations consumers want. At Microsoft, the freedom to innovate for our customers is more than just a goal; it is a principle worth standing up for."

Microsoft says that more essays will appear in the near future. Thursday's essay can be viewed at the Microsoft Web site