Top Microsoft executive Paul Maritz has admitted to using pressure tactics against Intel, Netscape and Sun.
In the ongoing legal contest between Microsoft and the US Department of Justice, Maritz, vice president of platforms and applications, acknowledged that the software company pressed Intel to pull an Internet multimedia software product off the market in 1995 and later to back away from embracing Java. But he denied that the pressure on Intel was designed specifically to quash potential competition from the chip company.
Last week, the case also turned towards the integration of Internet Explorer with Windows, which is at the heart of the case. Microsoft was instructed to surrender Emails and spreadsheets detailing how more than 1,900 operating system files were divided between IE and the rest of Windows 98.
To date, the company has maintained that IE and Windows are inseparable and repeatedly challenged government witnesses to say where one starts and the other begins. That assertion now appears in danger.
Microsoft's own study shows that, of 1,903 software files, 690 deal only with Web browsing. In addition, 1,061 are shared by both the browser and the operating system, and 152 deal with the operating system alone.
A US government spokesman said: "The code that provides browsing functions alone has been welded into the operating system. I think that's very significant for our own tying claim."
IE 5.0 ON THE HORIZON
US newsletter WinInfo reported last week that Microsoft will release IE 5.0 in mid-March. The new version will include easier favourites management, a cleaner interface and a revamped search among the new features.
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