On the last day of week four in the Microsoft antitrust trial, Big Green attempted to discredit the testimony of Steven McGeady, an Intel vice president.
The software giant tried to portray him as a maverick within the organisation and a "prima donna" who mistakenly blamed Microsoft for a setback in his career.
Earlier this week, McGeady accused Microsoft of strong-arm tactics against Intel by threatening to drop support for its new chip technology if the company did not axe its Native Signal Processing (NSP) multimedia project, which McGeady headed.
He alleged that Microsoft?s aim was to keep Intel off its software patch - a claim Microsoft has denied, even though it admitted opposing NSP because, it attested, the technology was flawed technically and did not work with Windows 95.
After the NSP project was terminated, Steven McGeady left Intel to work at the Massachussets Institute of Technology (MIT, but has since returned to head a public health project at the company.
But Microsoft went all out to show that McGeady blamed Microsoft for this career setback and was bent on revenge.
Steven Holley, a Microsoft lawyer, presented evidence that McGeady?s superiors at Intel had criticised him for being "belligerent" about Microsoft, referring to him as a "prima donna".
E-mail sent by McGeady also suggested he was friendly with Netscape executives and eager to testify against Microsoft in the antitrust trial.
Holley also made much of an email message from McGeady to Jim Clark, Netscape?s co-founder, in which he referred to Intel?s then chief executive as "Andy ?mad dog? Grove".
But Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson grew impatient with Microsoft?s approach, at one point asking Holley: "What are you trying to demonstrate? Are you just trying to embarrass him?"
Holley did manage to poke a few holes in McGeady?s testimony on Thursday, however, using the executive?s own notes from key meetings as evidence.
McGeady had testified earlier this week that he had heard Paul Maritz, a Microsoft vice president, say at a meeting held in September, 1995, that it was Microsoft?s strategy to "embrace, extend and extinguish" the opposition.
But McGeady?s own notes of the meeting contain the words "embrace/extend/change the nature of Internet". McGeady, however, stuck to his own recollection of what Maritz said.
Another damaging quote from Maritz, about "extinguising Netscape?s air supply", was not found in his notes, while further notes from a meeting with McGeady?s superior, Frank Gill, provide an alternative explanation for the cancellation of the NSP initiative.
They imply that Intel made a "mistake" in basing NSP on Windows 3.1, not the then about to be released Windows 95, backing up Microsoft?s account of its dispute with Intel about the technology.
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