A key Microsoft witness was forced to admit that the Seattle giant offered Netscape "inducements" to use its Internet technologies as it developed its own Windows 95 browser.
Dan Rosen, Microsoft general manager of new technology told the court during his testimony in the Department of Justice (DoJ) case against the software developer, that Microsoft, "Offered them [Netscape] several inducements if they would adopt our platform technologies."
The court was also shown several emails to Microsoft executives, including one from Bill Gates, which stated that Microsoft would "make [Netscape's] server business sucessful", if Netscape, "agrees to do certain things in the client." The emails were sent before 21 June, 1995 meeting where Netscape claims Microsoft told it to drop out of the browser market.
Rosen was also shown notes written by Netscape founder, Marc Andreesen after the 21 June meeting, that Microsoft offered to make "highly beneficial" arrangements, if both companies "agree on the line". Rosen agreed those sentiments were made, but with regards to cooperation on the Windows 95 platform.
More damagingly, Andreesen's notes of the meeting attribute a Microsoft executive as saying: "Would you be interested in having a partnership where Netscape gets all the non Windows stuff and Microsoft gets all the Windows 95 stuff? If Netscape doesn't want to, then that is one thing. If Netscape does want to, then we can have our special relationship. Threat that Microsoft will own the Windows 95 client market and that Netscape should stay away."
Rosen suggested the remarks were made with reference to MSN. He said: "As I read these notes, they are under the heading "reassessing MSN" and for MSN it was pretty clear that Microsoft would have the Windows 95 client market. But nothing in words or substance in this way was conveyed during that meeting."
However he was later forced to admit that his notes, which are now part of the evidence, stated his first goal was to establish Microsoft's ownership of the Internet client platform for Windows 95. Rosen argued that he was referring to the platform technologies that Microsoft was embedding into Windows 95.
The court was also shown documents from Netscape to AOL sent the day after the meeting. According to the document, "Microsoft wanted equity, a board seat, Netscape to renounce the network as a platform, Netscape to disclose all plans to Microsoft and Netscape to limit access to APIs. And, in return, Netscape would be Microsoft's special partner and get inside information."
Rosen did not agree this was an accurate description of the events of the meeting.
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