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Prosecution says Gates led plan to crush Netscape

Claims company set out to eliminate sources of Netscape revenue

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Microsoft was portrayed by David Boies (pronounced "BOYCE") for the DoJ as being worried by Netscape's lead in browser technology, and Sun's Java. One of Microsoft's responses was a strategy to leverage the Windows monopoly to gain browser market share, Boies said. Another response was to steer ISPs to exclusive contracts for IE in return for having their logo on the Windows Internet screen. Boies said that Microsoft's strategy was not to make things better for consumers, but to create a competitive barrier for Netscape. There was clear evidence that Microsoft planned the integration of Windows and IE as a means of thwarting Netscape, he told the court. After Netscape refused the market sharing agreement, Boies said that Microsoft set out to identify the sources of Netscape's revenue and block them. Microsoft decided to give IE away, and lose a potential $120 million from IE sales, in order to harm Netscape (at the time, Netscape's browser was not free). Boies said this was all done with the explicit knowledge and at the direction of Gates. Boies also pointed at evidence from Microsoft's contracts with AT&T. Although AT&T wished to remain browser neutral, Microsoft's contract prevented this: Brad Silverberg, a Microsoft executive, told AT&T that its contract was not negotiable. Boies said that this was an example of Microsoft using monopoly power to require ISPs to give preferential treatment to IE. Boies also introduced a February 1997 memo from Gates to Intel saying that Microsoft would not support an AMD technology if Intel stopped the development of a Java-based product. Boise told the court that these were the very things that antitrust law was designed to prevent. ® Complete Register trial coverage Click for more stories

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