Microsoft on Trial: We're right, they're wrong - MS

Microsoft Corp. has found itself on the wrong side of the camera in the latest round of the Microsoft vs. Department of Justice antitrust skirmish.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

As lawyers for the government have begun playing excerpts of videotaped testimony gathered this past summer from executives with a number of Microsoft competitors, Microsoft's lawyers are forced to rebut remarks from officials not physically present in the Washington, D.C. courtroom. "The excerpts the government is showing today have virtually nothing to do with the legal issues in this case," claims Microsoft in its multiple-page rebuttal posted to its Web site Tuesday.

In its rebuttal, Microsoft refutes the taped testimony of hardware and software officials from Caldera Inc., Gateway Inc., Network Computing Inc., Packard Bell NEC, The Santa Cruz Operation Inc. and Sun Microsystems Inc., as well as from an executive from Walt Disney Co.

In addition, Microsoft takes issue again with the government's use of excerpts from Microsoft CEO Bill Gates' testimony. In the course of Tuesday's antitrust trial, DoJ attorneys played videotape that showed Gates declining to greet attorney David Boies' "good morning" salutation. Gates was also shown splitting hairs with Boies as to how one of his e-mail messages was designated as "high" priority.

"What is the legal significance of whether or not Bill Gates says 'good morning' to his inquisitor each day?" asks Microsoft in its rebuttal. "These segments have no legitimate role in this case. They were selected by the government only to continue their public relations attack against Microsoft and Bill Gates."

The government is planning to show videotape excerpts from a number of hardware and software makers in an attempt to solidify its arguments regarding: The definition of an operating system; whether or not Internet browsers can and should be considered part of the base OS; and the extent to which OEMs are allowed to make changes to the desktop that affect "the Windows experience," in Microsoft parlance.

Microsoft issued a round of nearly identical subpoenas in June to Apple Computer Inc., Caldera, Novell Inc., SCO and Sun requesting information on their Internet technology integration plans for their respective operating systems.

The government is slated to show the videotape excerpts the rest of the day on Tuesday, through Thursday, the last day the trial will convene before a two-week holiday recess.

Take me to the DoJ/Microsoft page.

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