Sparks flew at the Washington District Court when a Compaq executive challenged allegations made by the Department of Justice (DoJ) that the PC manufacturer gave Microsoft a rival software maker's secrets.
Government attorney David Boies, in his cross examination of John Rose, senior executive at Compaq, asked if he was aware that Compaq had last year handed over information to Microsoft relating to operating system software produced by Windows CE rival, Be. He claimed the action violated a non-disclosure agreement Compaq had with Be.
Rose said he was not aware of any such action and, clearly irritated by Boies' line of questioning, asked for and was granted a recess.
Boies had previously pushed Rose into a corner when he was forced to concede that Compaq had no real alternative to Windows because it was compatible with about 70,000 software applications.
But Rose was also quick to illustrate the benefits of the vendor's technology, which he said had made computing cheaper, easier and more reliable.
Earlier in the week, Microsoft executive Eric Engstrom denied accusations that the software vendor pressured Apple to drop out of the Windows multimedia market.
Engstrom was responsible for Microsoft's DirectX multimedia technology and attended a series of meetings with Apple executives in 1997 and 1998 to discuss multimedia technology.
Avie Tevanian, senior vice president of Apple, who testified before the anti-trust court in November, claimed Microsoft attempted to pressure Apple into dropping its Quicktime multimedia client for Windows during these meetings.
This, the DoJ claims, amounts to an illegal use of monopoly power to stifle competition. But Engstrom denied that Microsoft did anything untoward.
'The discussions were undertaken with Apple's full agreement and involved efforts to collaborate on technical issues in a way that would have benefited Microsoft, Apple and users,' he said in a written deposition.
But in his written testimony, Tevanian quoted Engstrom allegedly talking to Apple executive Phil Schiller on the phone: 'We're going to compete fiercely on multimedia playback and we won't let anybody have playback in Windows,' the quotation ran.
Struggling security titan makes three board appointments after investor took 5.8 per cent stake last month
Commvault ousted its CEO in May and has since undergone a radical refocus
As employees demand more flexible working environments, CRN asks how the channel is adapting to the changing working landscape
Wall Street less than impressed with Oracle's growth as cloud numbers remain hidden