Excerpts of Bill Gates' videotaped testimony in the Microsoft antitrust trial were shown in court today, and released to the public.
The third week of the MS-Department of Justice case started badly for the software giant when its legal team lost a last ditch attempt to halt the public release of videotaped testimony from Gates. Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson also denied a request to disallow parts of the damaging written testimony of Apple senior vice president Avadis Tevanian (see Newswire 2 November).
About 30 excerpts from Gates? testimony were shown in court, out of a total of three days of depositions.
Gates? responses to government questions often appeared evasive. The government attempted to contrast statements from his testimony with email excerpts, which show Gates as being closely involved in key strategy decisions involving Netscape.
On the accusation that Microsoft made an illegal market division proposal to Netscape, Gates said: ?I?m not aware of such a thing, and it?s very much against the way we operate."
But he flatly denied a key accusation made by Apple senior vice president Avadis Tevanian in his written testimony, released last Friday. ?You threatened to cancel Mac Office, didn?t you?? Gates, after a long wait, answered ?no?.
Tevanian claimed that Microsoft?s threats to scrap the Macintosh version of Microsoft Office forced Apple, in 1997, to accept a deal that included promoting Internet Explorer as the default browser on the Macintosh. The deal also involved a $150 million investment of Microsoft in Apple.
According to Microsoft, it was Apple putting on the screws during the negotations between both companies in 1997 by threatening to sue its rival for patent infringement.
In a press release on Tuesday, Microsoft protested against the government?s use of Gates? videotaped testimony. "The government is resorting to an edited videotape instead of actually calling Bill Gates as a witness," said William Neukom, Microsoft's senior VP for law and corporate affairs.
?This is little more than a scheme designed to get around the judge's limit on the number of witnesses, and a gimmick to get snippets in the headlines rather than get at the facts pertinent to this lawsuit," he continued.
Neukom put his own spin on Gates? perceived evasiveness. ?To his credit, Bill did not allow the government to put words in his mouth or bully him into saying something he did not believe to be accurate," he said.
The court will not convene on Tuesday, because of national elections.
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