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October 26th
11:16 AM/CST

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Monday, November 1st

Judge Jackson Spanks Microsoft over "Misleading" Questions
[2:14 AM] Judge Thomas Jackson scolded Theodore Edelman, the Microsoft attorney responsible for cross-examining Apple's Senior Vice President Avie Tevanian. The tension came from a series of questions Mr. Edelman was asking of Mr. Tevanian about an e-mail from two Apple engineers to Apple's upper management. The e-mail apparently suggested close cooperation with Microsoft in regards to their demand that Apple butt out of the multimedia playback business in the Windows market. Microsoft has been accused by Apple of trying to divide the multimedia playback market, a move which would be illegal under US antitrust laws. Mr. Edelman was trying to characterize the internal memo as a proposal from Apple itself to Microsoft which Mr. Tevanian firmly denied. When Mr. Edelman continued to insist, Judge Jackson said:

``He said this was not a proposal, this was a predecision communication by two Apple engineers which was explicitly rejected by Mr. Tevanian and others as a proposal. It's misleading language and it is not acceptable to me.''

This is a somewhat surprising move to come from a judge during a trial and the strongest admonition Judge Jackson has made yet in this particular trial.

The Mac Observer Spin: The exact nature of this trial concerns whether or not Microsoft leveraged their overwhelming market-share (scholars differ as to whether Microsoft has monopoly) or attempted to leverage their market share in any of their markets to gain further market share in other markets. Under US antitrust laws, this is specifically barred.

The places where it most strongly appears that Microsoft may have done just this includes reported threats to not allow PC makers to sell Windows if they did not also make Internet Explorer the default browser as well as these relatively new allegations from Apple Computer that Microsoft threatened to kill Office for the Mac if it did not also make Internet Explorer the default browser on shipping macs (an event Bill Gates claimed not to recall during videotaped testimony, this despite having received an e-mail from a manager that characterized the threat of killing Mac Office as "the best weapon we have [against Apple].") It is likely that if either of these events, or any similar event is in fact true, that Microsoft would have indeed violated US antitrust laws. While it is anyone's guess as to what Judge Jackson would recommend be done should Microsoft be found guilty, the appeals process will likely see the rollout of OS XV before anything actually happened.

Recently Jesse Berst of ZD Anchor Desk suggested that Microsoft may have been planning on losing this round of the fight, planning on winning on appeal when the rules may favor the Redmond based company slightly more than Judge Jackson's court has. Judging from the events that have occurred so far in the trial, Microsoft may be well on their way to doing just that. Losing this opening round that is.

Apple - Microsoft



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