Microsoft?s bundling of Internet Explorer with its Windows operating system doesn?t benefit users, or make technological sense, according to the government?s first expert witness in its antitrust trial with the software giant.
Glen E Weadock, a computer consultant, and president of Independent Software, said in written testimony the inclusion of Microsoft?s browser with Windows 98 ?provides few real-world benefits and several significant real-world costs and risks.?
Weadock, who has been a consultant to the Justice Department in previous disputes with Microsoft, said he based his conclusions on interviews with system managers at a dozen large corporations.
All of them told him they would prefer to have separate browsers and operating systems, he said. By keeping the two separate, users can avoid problems when one crashes, affecting use of the other.
By not including a feature to ?uninstall? Internet Explorer, Microsoft had forced users who only wanted a single browser to make a straight choice, of whether or not to use Netscape, and not be able to use Windows 98, or to use Internet Explorer, Weadock said.
Microsoft attacked Weadock?s evidence, released in written form on Friday, as misleading, as he had handpicked companies to support his claim, and ignored the millions of users who did not.
Microsoft faced more pressure in court, with chairman Bill Gates videotaped testimony again making a poor impression.
Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson was reported to have laughed out loud at numerous points in the deposition, as Gates frequently claimed not to be able to remember writing emails, or to not understand what questions meant.
Lead federal prosecutor David Boies repeatedly asked Gates to explain an email he had sent in January 1996 saying ?Winning browser share is a very, very important goal for us.?
Gates declined to say what companies he wanted to win share from, and claimed not to remember another email sent by Microsoft vice president Paul Maritz, saying Microsoft needed to look carefully at any chance to gain share from Netscape.
Weadock will be cross examined by Microsoft lawyers today.
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