In his testimony at yesterday?s anti-trust trial, Microsoft executive Paul Maritz admitted that is was ?desirable? for the company to get other firms to limit their promotion of Netscape Navigator.
US government lawyer David Boies spent most of yesterday?s cross examination of Maritz trying to get the executive to admit that Microsoft had spent time and money increasing its share of the browser market at Netscape?s expense and to drive down its rival?s stock price.
Boies pushed Maritz, who heads up development and marketing of Microsoft?s platforms and applications, to say exactly how much Microsoft had spent promoting Internet Explorer. Maritz had stated earlier this month that the company had spent around $500 million since 1994.
The exact figure is important to the US government?s case as it has accused Microsoft of investing huge amounts in developing its web browser but giving it away free in an attempt to undermine Netscape.
Maritz denied that the companies goal was to reduce Netscape?s browser share in addition to increasing its own share of the market: ?Our goal was to make sure that we gave large numbers of users every reason and every opportunity to prefer our platform,? he said.
Boies asked: ?When you wanted to grow Microsoft?s market share, did it matter to you whether you grew it at the expense of Netscape or not, or were you just interested in share regardless of where it came from.?
Maritz answered: ?Well, I was aware that Netscape was our principal competitor in servicing that user and developers need, but it didn?t matter to me precisely whether it came from Netscape or not.?
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