US Report: Incriminating memos could sink Microsoft

The U.S. government believes it has a collection of incriminating memos from Microsoft executives that prove the company's wilful intent to use its monopoly position to derail its competition - namely Netscape.

The U.S. government believes it has a collection of incriminating memos from Microsoft executives that prove the company's wilful intent to use its monopoly position to derail its competition - namely Netscape. Microsoft insists the documents are quoted out of context.

Here are some highlights:

Microsoft's Christian Wildfeuer , Feb. 24, 1997:

"It seems clear that it will be very hard to increase browser market share on the merits of IE 4 alone. It will be more important to leverage the OS asset to make people use IE instead of Navigator."

Microsoft Group Vice President Paul Maritz, Jan. 2, 1997: "I am convinced we have to use Windows - this is the one thing they don't have."

Microsoft Senior Vice President Allchin, Dec. 20, 1996: "Unless Microsoft were to "leverage Windows ... I don't understand how IE is going to win ... Maybe being free helps us, but once people are used to a product, it is hard to change them ... My conclusion is that we must leverage Windows more."

"Memphis (Microsoft's code name for Windows 98) must be a simple upgrade, but most importantly it must be a killer on OEM shipments so that Netscape never gets a chance on these systems."

Microsoft senior executive Brad Chase, April 21, 1997:

"Memphis is a key weapon in the IE share battle."

Microsoft CEO Bill Gates, July 1996 e-mail report on his attempt to persuade Intuit CEO Scott Cook to use Internet Explorer with Quicken:

``I was quite frank with him (Cook) that if he had a favor we could do for him that would cost us something like $1M to do that in return for switching browsers in the next few months, I would be open to doing that.''

Microsoft would not comment directly on any of the comments.