Feeds

How MS destabilised Netscape and Marimba

Witness Eric Engstrom defends the DimensionX purchase

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The essential guide to IT transformation

MS on Trial During his evidence at the Microsoft trial, Eric Engstrom had some excuses ready about Microsoft's acquisition of DimensionX in 1997, which he engineered. He had wanted support from various people in Microsoft for the acquisition "so I put some statements in there that, you know, I was not fully briefed on, nor do I necessarily completely understand, but that represented the opinion of other people whose consensus I wanted in order to go through with the acquisition". There were however some more sinister reasons. The draft email advocating the acquisition to Gates and Maritz noted that DimensionX was about to be acquired by Javasoft. One of the statements that Engstrom referred to was that "Netscape is planning a large announce around this strategy [the key authoring tool for Marimba] and partners in the next few weeks. We could achieve a big tactical win here by removing their key tool." It was a clear case of a strategic acquisition that had an anti-competitive motivation. Engstrom defended this by claiming that Carl Jacobs, the CEO of Liquid Motion (acquired with DimensionX), had told him that the company was not working with Netscape. The Liquid Motion runtime was in many ways the equivalent of some multimedia controls that Microsoft was trying to develop. Engstrom had also written that "'derailing' what Netscape wanted would be a "HUGE HUGE thing". Brad Silverberg had asked Engstrom how the acquisition would take away the authoring tool from Marimba, so Engstrom (who confessed during his evidence that he did not understand what he was talking about) emailed Silverberg: "The authoring tool only works on the DimensionX runtime. It wouldn't be hard at all to make it (a) require our browser; (b) require DirectX runtime; (c) some other option to make Marimba's life difficult." This was not a good statement for a company accused of monopolisation to be seen to be making. Microsoft was considering a technical tie, so that users had to have IE in order to author with the tool. This was the same kind of "deep integration" that Microsoft had used with Windows and IE, and Malone's cross-examination exposed the motivation very well. ® Complete Register trial coverage

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate
Some assignments, even the Bongster decline must
Kaspersky backpedals on 'done nothing wrong, nothing to fear' blather
Founder (and internet passport fan) now says privacy is precious
TROLL SLAYER Google grabs $1.3 MEEELLION in patent counter-suit
Chocolate Factory hits back at firm for suing customers
Mozilla's 'Tiles' ads debut in new Firefox nightlies
You can try turning them off and on again
Sit tight, fanbois. Apple's '$400' wearable release slips into early 2015
Sources: time to put in plenty of clock-watching for' iWatch
Facebook to let stalkers unearth buried posts with mobe search
Prepare to HAUNT your pal's back catalogue
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.