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  1. Technology
February 24, 1999


By CBR Staff Writer

The Department of Justice spent yesterday morning hammering Microsoft Corp’s Eric Engstrom over whether he had tried to pressure Apple Computer Corp into dumping its QuickTime multimedia playback software in favor of the Microsoft equivalent. The Microsoft man stood firm, however, insisting, Its not like we tried to get Apple to never ship a piece of code on Windows. DOJ attorney Philip Mallone cross-examined the witness on allegations that Apple’s Avadis Tevanian put to the court last year, that Microsoft was unresponsive to Apple request’s for help with fixing QuickTime for Windows, that Redmond had tried to sabotage the software and that Microsoft had induced Apple to drop QuickTime. He denied that Microsoft was being overbearing in its dealings with Apple over getting QuickTime to run on Windows. Engstrom insisted that he followed standard procedure when reporting problems to Apple saying, the only bug we reported to them we gave a test scenario. He tried to put the period of July to August 1997 in context, saying he had requested but did not receive feedback from Apple over the bug report and that his group was readying the Windows Media Player under time pressure. Engstrom also said he had been pained by a negative Wall Street Journal article concerning Microsoft and Apple’s relationship and by RealNetworks Inc’s CEO Rob Glasser testifying at the Hatch hearings that Microsoft had ‘broke’ the RealNetworks media player. I’m friends with his wife, I couldn’t believe this, Engstrom said. So Microsoft told Apple to write an ActiveX control – a small piece of code – to get QuickTime working, and Engstrom had not felt this an unreasonable response. He dismissed Tevanian’s claims of deliberate sabotage outright, saying that had tried to replicate the Tevanian’s results for weeks and not managed it. Engstrom did agree that he had tried to get Apple to support Microsoft technologies on Windows and said that Microsoft had wanted to use Apple’s multimedia authoring tools. This had been characterized at the time of Tevanian’s testimony as a another example looking to divide the market. However, Engstrom again vehemently denied this, claiming, I did say I would support Apple’s APIs if they would target DirectShow, not exclusively – not even Windows.

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