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February 4, 1999


By CBR Staff Writer

Despite working through much of Wednesday night, Microsoft Corp was unable to complete a new version of the video which it had seen seriously discredited in court over the previous two days by government attorney David Boies. One segment of the tests had to be left out of the new 70 minute video, supervised this time by government lawyers and computer experts and run on six hastily bought IBM Corp laptops. Microsoft still managed to bar government lawyers from the room for several hours while Allchin tried out the tests privately. The new tape was shown in court Thursday afternoon. It showed Microsoft executive James Allchin installing the browser-removal program created by government witness Dr Edward Felten in order to prove that it was possible to separate browser and operating system in Windows 98 – something which Microsoft hotly disputes. Allchin’s taped demonstration appeared to show up some bugs in Felten’s program, but also revealed that some internet web browsing was indeed possible. But, said Allchin, a Windows update web site, plus two Microsoft applications – Money 99 and Microsoft Plus Delux CD – were effectively disabled by the Felten program. Microsoft blamed a failure to get a consistent connection with the internet for not being able to run the crucial timing tests that formed the centerpiece of the original video, which purported to show that performance was severely degraded by the Felten program. Each time we connected we got a different performance rate, said Microsoft technician Tod Nielsen, so it would have been unfair to either side to compare one machine at one rate with another machine at another rate. Before the tape was run, Microsoft spokesperson Mark Morris admitted that the earlier video had been intended as an illustration and did not represent a recording of actual testing. Microsoft, he said was using computers in a studio to illustrate the points that we had discovered in the laboratory.” The fuss over the tapes overshadowed the testimony of Michael Devlin, president of Rational Software Corp, who testified that Microsoft had proved helpful to his company through its provision of application programming interfaces and through an alliance. Under cross examination, Devlin admitted that Microsoft might be able to use information gathered through alliances to develop competing products. á

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