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Government victimising Gates, says Microsoft

Beating up Bill on video is cowardly - they should face him in person, apparently...

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Bob Herbold, Microsoft COO, said in his introduction to Microsoft's videotaped response to Gates' deposition that the government's case was becoming "an unfair attack on Bill Gates, one of the great innovators of this century." (Yes, we listened twice to be sure we had that right.) Herbold accused the government of using a videotape rather than facing Gates in person: "It's unfair," he complained,"It's a trick to get around the judge's limit of the number of witnesses, and a gimmick to get headlines rather than getting at the facts." If Herbold is so keen to see Gates give evidence, perhaps he should suggest to Bill that he appears as a witness for Microsoft. After all, when a company is accused of illegal, anticompetitive practices by the government, the CEO usually leads the defence from the front. Herbold continued: "Microsoft chairman Bill Gates answered truthfully and openly during the three days of depositions". The government, he said, was working to advance the interests of competitors. In one of its recent motions, Microsoft criticised Avadis Tevanian of Apple, whose cross-examination starts today, for giving opinions about economics when he was not qualified as an economist. Herbold, who used to work for a seller of soap flakes, was so ignorant about the software industry that in a major speech some time after he joined Microsoft he referred to DOS as "dee-oh-ess". Herbold also took it on himself to give a speech on DNA a few days ago, but there is no evidence of Herbold having a qualification in molecular biology. The Microspin that Microsoft introduced yesterday was to get a Microsoft legal consultant, a certain Joseph diGenova, previously attorney general for the District of Columbia, to say that (or be told to say that) "This was an extraordinary deposition of an extraordinary man... Mr Gates' testimony was truthful and accurate, and it was precise..." He certainly earned his fee. ® Complete Register trial coverage Click for more stories

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