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Memory man Gates doesn't understand Intuit restrictions

In what is possibly his farewell video, Bill is well up to the mark, as usual

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In what is probably the last extract from his videotaped deposition, Bill Gates was as obstructive, petulant and 'forgetful' as usual. Unless he has a medical condition that is completely unknown, it is inconceivable that he could be as ignorant of significant developments for Microsoft as he purports to be. Any normal company with such a forgetful CEO would surely discretely arrange for some medical help for the poor chap. In the video extract shown to the court yesterday, Gates denied knowing about the content of an email he received from Brad Chase in April 1997 (which Chase had received from Will Poole) summarising the details of the agreement between Intuit and Microsoft. The conditions for Intuit are onerous, and included bundling IE3 or IE4 with all 1997 and 1998 Intuit products; using DHTML; and putting the IE logo exclusively on all Intuit Web sites. The phrasing of the agreement with respect to Netscape is interesting: "Not enter into marketing/promo agreements with Other Browser [sic] manufacturers for distribution or promotion of Intuit content". Then Intuit had to "Announce a Very Public Alignment with Microsoft technologies, including a joint press release to announce plans to use and deploy products with significant use of ActiveX, specifically addressing security issues etc." It would seem that Microsoft was at that time very concerned that ActiveX was not everyone's idea of a secure technology. Gates was confronted with the part of the email that said "Create 'differentiated content' area for Intuit Channel that is available only to IE users" and claimed "I don't understand what [these words] mean." For its part, Microsoft agreed to "World-wide royalty free distribution of IE for three years", but since Intuit only produces its products for Windows, Microsoft must have slipped up by referring to IE as a product since, as everybody knows, IE is part of Windows. In the absence of any mitigating medical evidence about Gates' mental condition, the inevitable conclusion likely to be drawn by Judge Jackson is that Microsoft does have a great deal to hide, and is guilty as charged. The only rational defence that Microsoft could present to defend Gates' behaviour in the videotaped deposition would be to say that he has burn out, and is suffering from mental fatigue. Since this is extremely unlikely, Microsoft will have to live with the consequences. Microsoft has become used to being able to win using its usual repertoire of business practices that have propelled it to its pre-eminent position, but in a court that functions on the basis of equity, Microsoft will not be able to get its own way. The question that remains is whether the US courts will dispense justice in this case. ® Complete Register trial coverage

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