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February 16, 1999

NOTES FROM THE MICROSOFT TRIAL

By CBR Staff Writer

– Judge Jackson started yesterday afternoon’s court room session with a joke about what a law firm would do if it found it was riding a dead horse, a joke that he said was apposite. Jackson said that a law firm, finding itself astride a deceased nag, may apply a stronger whip, harness two dead horses together, or declare that the horse is better, faster and cheaper dead.

– Following defense objections about the soundtrack of a government tape that the Department of Justice said showed the steps that Microsoft had glossed over in last Thursday’s tape concerning the download of Netscape Navigator from an America Online Inc client, the Judge asked if the sound should be muted. Lead DoJ attorney, David Boies said that the government tape was at least as reliable as some of the videotapes that have been produced by Microsoft. The judge allowed the tape, soundtrack intact.

– Questioning the speed of the download in the aforementioned government tape, Brad Chase said that the download of the Netscape browser would be affected by the speed of the modem. The three test downloads carried out by the DoJ had taken between 30 to 60 minutes, Boies said. Chase said that it would take around 25 minutes with a 56K modem. Boies asked how many AOL users would have had access to 56K modems in the 1996 to 1997 period. Chase didn’t know, but we at ComputerWire suspect there weren’t very many.

– The government side is hoping to finish with the Microsoft witnesses by the end of this month. Given the speed of this trial so far, we won’t be holding our breath! á

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