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IE uninstall witness makes MS trial comeback

Defence gets another crack at shooting holes in Felten

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MS on Trial The next stage of the Microsoft trial, the rebuttal phase, due to commence next week, will see a rematch between Edward Felten, he of the IE uninstaller, and MS VP Jim Allchin. Attempts by Allchin to undermine Felten's program last time around resulted in one of the most spectacular Microsoft own-goals of the trial. Felten had produced a prototype program which could be used to remove Internet Explorer from Windows, and in his earlier testimony in the trial he had set out to prove, relatively successfully, as it turned out, that IE and Windows could be separated, and that there were no real technical reasons for them being integrated. As part of his evidence Allchin had shown a video of a test which, apparently, proved the contrary - that Felten's program degraded the performance of Windows and disabled features. But that video turned out to have been inadvertently fiddled by MS marketing, and an embarrassed Allchin had to host an overnight rerun in a Washington hotel room. This test was deeply unconvincing, and wasn't helped by the aroma of fraud that hung over the whole episode. Felten is coming back as a rebuttal witness at the DoJ, with the mission of causing more damage to Allchin. Clearly the DoJ feels his evidence is a key plank of its case. So Microsoft's defence lawyers will need to do a more successful job of discrediting him this time around, which means this could turn into the grudge match of the trial. ® Complete Register trial coverage

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