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MS only decided to integrate IE in March 97

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MS on Trial The Register can exclusively reveal that the actual decision to bundle Internet Explorer with Windows 98 was not made until at least 28 March 1997, contrary to many claims and thin documentation from Microsoft. The evidence is in an email to Microsoft witness and vp Brad Chase dated 27 March 1997 from Kumar Mehta, who does market research for Chase. Mehta noted that Bob Foulon was gathering data for a meeting Gates was having the next day, and "Apparently they are going to discuss whether IE and Memphis [Windows 98] should be bundled together." Mehta copied to Chase his email to Foulon in which he wrote: "My feeling, based on all the IE research we have done, is that it is a mistake to release Memphis without bundling IE with it." Boies did not use this bundling reference in his cross examination of Chase, although he did use the document, so perhaps he is saving the meat for a dramatic denouement during his closing arguments - unless it has been overlooked of course. Boies did prepare the ground earlier by asking Chase if "Mehta was a person of competence and integrity". Chase was unequivocal: "Yes, he is." This will make it very difficult for Microsoft to shoot the message sender, as it has been doing to dismiss documents it wishes were not on the record. The revelation that IE and Windows 98 "integration" was not decided until so late will shake the foundation of Microsoft's case that Windows 98 (which was targeted for 1996, Chase admitted) was always planned as an integrated product. It also harms the Court of Appeals decision that allowed Microsoft to combine IE and Windows, and will further undermine Microsoft's credibility. This email equates to a dozen coffin nails. ® Complete Register trial coverage

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