The emails the DoJ may use to ambush Maritz

We can't read the text yet, but we've got the headers. And did you hear the one about the MS-Intel telecoms net?

The Paul Maritz deposition Microsoft made public on Friday was, as we may have intimated yesterday, pretty predictable stuff. Maritz denies everything, but does so without directly addressing large swathes of the case the DoJ has already made against Microsoft. But putting Maritz on the stand as a defence witness is a big risk for Microsoft. He's a senior exec, and has been 'in the loop' for the whole of the period the prosecution is concentrating on. That means he has sent or been sent a large proportion of the mail messages the DoJ is using in evidence. Presumably Maritz himself has boned-up on the documents he's likely to be asked about under cross-examination next week. And presumably, having another senior exec taking the 'I can't remember' road out will not be viewed as an option by Microsoft's attorneys. We've been taking a look at some of the stuff that may come up, and we think we can see a DoJ ambush or two ahead. Quite a lot of the stuff the DoJ has isn't public yet, but the headings of some of them are on the record, and quite a few of the good ones involve Maritz. We may not see the financial ones (trade secrets) for a while yet, but the ones that sound non-financial look good. Expect, for example, one or more of the Microsoft witnesses (probably Maritz or Jim Allchin) to have to deal with a message from February 1994 to Gates, Brad Silverberg, Maritz and Allchin headed "re Chicago beta #1 content." This dates back to the period when Microsoft claims it was putting its IE integration plans into motion, and should be quite enlightening. If it confirms what Microsoft has been saying, then you'd think it would be a defence exhibit, rather than a prosecution one. From March 1994, we have an email from Brad Silverberg to Gates, Allchin, Maritz and Ballmer headed "re Shell plans - iShellBrowser," plus a response from Gates. This sounds very much like an early appearance of the browser as shell, so should make good reading too. And of course, at that time Brad Silverberg was heading Windows 95 development, later becoming head of matters Internet, so he was right slap-bang in the thick of things. Funnily enough we interviewed Silverberg about Windows 95 at almost exactly the time he wrote this email, but the subject of the Internet didn't come up much - Brad was keen on the new plug and play features, largely, and we got to see a portable crash when it tried to figure out a network card. Silverberg himself went on sabbatical last year, and seems to be still absent. In June 1998 though he does seem to have roused himself to send yet another of those yet to be released messages to various members of the high command. Fascinatingly, it's headed "re Netscape meeting," although the interesting Netscape meeting we've all heard about was three years earlier. The month before Brad sent this email, of course, the DoJ had filed its suit against Microsoft, and the Netscape meeting has figured prominently in the DoJ case. There are a couple more missing memos dealing with the meeting, probably the most tantalising being a June 95 one from Bill Gates to Paul Maritz headed "Netscape meeting reality." Aside from these, Maritz is likely to have to deal with a stash of unreleased presentations he made way back, and an April 96 memo of his own headed "Internet directions." There's also quite a but of interesting stuff in the Maritz-related documents the DoJ has released. We'll get back to this, but for the moment, here are some points from one of his presentations: "Partner with Intel to fund nationwide QoS network: tie to Windows client/MMX." We're amused to note that somebody (please let it be Bill's handwriting) has scribbled "Quality of Service" on the printout - apparently senior MS execs preparing to plunge into telecoms don't bother learning the lingo beforehand. The MMX/Windows tie is fascinating. Was Maritz proposing to roll out a US voice and data system that required Wintel-only PCs? If so, that puts an interesting spin on what he says in his deposition about MMX (Intel could sue over Katmai, IA-64). Finally, some more interesting spin on the telecoms plan is his suggestion to "give away voice calls (for a while)." Hmm… Until you've established what, Paul? ® Complete Register trial coverage

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