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MS on Trial Microsoft contracts which required partners to produce some Web pages that showed "degradation in appearance" when visited by Netscape users didn't matter, because hardly anybody obeyed them anyway. That, at least, seemed to be the curious stance taken by company VP and witness William Poole yesterday. The DoJ had drawn attention to this aspect of Microsoft contracts on Monday, and questioning Poole on the subject yesterday Microsoft attorney Richard Pepperman tried to downplay the significance of the clause. Microsoft had been in dispute with Disney over the appearance of a Disney logo in NetScape's Netcaster channel bar. This particular spat, of course, was the one that induced a Disney exec to describe Microsoft as a "1000 pound gorilla." Pepperman suggested the problem was the presence on Mousketeer ears in the logo. "Is it fair to say this was a dispute between the King Kong of Content and the 1,000-pound gorilla over mouse ears?" he asked. Poole agreed. But Poole also said that Disney had been the only company that honoured the "degradation" aspect of the contracts, and that Microsoft had actually made no effort to enforce them. The degradation on the Disney site, apparently, was that Mickey Mouse danced across the screen for IE users, but declined to appear for Netscape. ® Complete Register trial coverage

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