Gates takes the stand

Microsoft will today (22 April) call its chairman and chief software architect, Bill Gates, to the stand in the hearing involving...

Microsoft will today (22 April) call its chairman and chief software architect, Bill Gates, to the stand in the hearing involving Microsoft and the states which object to the settlement of its case with the Department of Justice.

Gates is expected to testify about "the potential harm to customers and the industry posed by the non-settling states' remedy proposals", the company said last week.

He is also expected to deliver his view on the evolution of the PC industry and Microsoft's involvement in it.

No doubt Microsoft attorneys are hoping Gates' latest testimony will go more smoothly than when video portions of the chairman's deposition were played in court during the liability portion of the trial in October of 1998. Gates was widely criticised for acting defensively and arguing with government lawyers in that video.

Microsoft has characterised the remedies being sought by the states that did not sign on to the proposed settlement with the US Department of Justice and nine other states as potentially harmful to consumers and the industry. Gates will expound on that in his testimony. The litigating states are seeking restrictions on Microsoft that go beyond the company's conduct in the PC operating system market to include its business practices in the Web services, handheld device, set-top box, and server operating system markets.

On Friday, Microsoft delivered to attorneys for the suing states its list of witnesses scheduled to take the stand next week. In addition to Gates, Microsoft said it would call to the stand executives from its Windows and MSN Internet divisions, as well as the vice-president in charge of the technology at the core of the operating system known as the Windows base OS kernel.

Read more on Microsoft Windows software

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