Microsoft executives spent most of yesterday?s anti-trust trial session defending the company?s contracts with Intuit.
According to William Poole, senior vice president of business development at Microsoft, company chief Bill Gates said Intuit must agree to use Microsoft?s Internet Explorer (IE) web browser in order to appear on the Windows Channel Bar, a box which appears on the Windows 95 screen.
Poole also admitted that Gates had made it clear that Microsoft?s platinum level partners, those with close ties to the company, should promote Internet Explorer in preference to Netscape Navigator and other browsers.
US government attorney David Boies also showed a Poole a 1996 memo from Gates which read: ?I was quite frank with him [Intuit chief executive William Harris] that if we had a favour we could do for him that would cost us something like $1 million, to do that in return for switching browsers in the next few months, I would be open to doing that.?
Intuit went on to ditch Navigator in 1997 following the deal with Gates.
Poole defended the negotiations, saying that Internet Explorer was a benefit that Microsoft was giving to Intuit.
However, US attorney David Boies later said that Gates? actions amounted to a ?bribe? to switch browsers.
Poole?s testimony continues today.
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