The judge in the Microsoft anti-trust trial has ordered the vendor to enter into evidence an internal email that could contradict a key part of its defence.
In what could transpire to be a crucial move in the historic case, Judge Thomas Jackson ordered Microsoft to hand over an email written by Microsoft engineer David D'Souza in October 1998, in which D'Souza analysed the government's own efforts to extract Internet Explorer from the Windows 98 operating system.
Microsoft claimed it was impossible to differentiate between the two functions at a code level, but US government attorneys said D'Souza's email supported their claim that Microsoft could easily identify which parts of the code related to Windows and which parts to Explorer. If the DoJ's claims prove to be true, its push for the two products to be separated to open up more competition in the browser market may gain substantial extra weight.
Judge Jackson will have to consider the case alongside testimony from a dozen Microsoft witnesses. The latest executive to enter written testimony into evidence was Jim Allchin, senior vice-president for personal and business systems at Microsoft, whose 130-page document defended the software giant's decision to integrate its browser technology into Windows.
'When Netscape was little more than a gleam in the eyes of its founders, Microsoft had already decided that future versions of its operating system software should include Web browsing capabilities and that those capabilities should be unified with other information viewing sources,' wrote Allchin.
Earlier in the week and under heavy cross-examination from the government's lead attorney David Boies, Paul Maritz, senior strategist at Microsoft, admitted that it was 'desirable' for the company to get other firms to limit their promotion of Netscape Navigator.
However, Maritz denied accusations that Microsoft's goal was to reduce Netscape's browser share as its own grew. 'I was aware that Netscape was our principal competitor ... but it didn't matter to me precisely whether it came from Netscape or not,' said Maritz.
Vendor claims hackers are hijacking machines to mine for cryptocurrency
The charter has pulled together the biggest names in tech in an unprecedented attempt to address the tech industry's lack of diversity. Tom Wright asks how it plans to do it
Highlander MD Steve Brown tells CRN about the skills he learned on the pitch and brought to the boardroom
Reports suggest Dell is pursuing a straightforward IPO, contradicting existing plans to buy out tracking stock holders