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MS on Trial Edward Felten, the DoJ trial witness who produced a program to demonstrate that IE could be removed from Windows, has upgraded his software after listening to his users. Microsoft, that is. Felten, who will be back on the stand when the trial resumes, said yesterday that he'd been working on the Windows Update feature, and had nailed a couple of error messages which Microsoft had said were misleading during earlier sparring. The online Windows Update routine allows Windows users to upgrade their software via the Web, but requires Internet Explorer. Felten had this working without IE just before his previous court appearance, but Microsoft's Web site mysteriously changed, breaking the feature, just before he was due in court. The full transcript of his earlier deposition is now available, and we'll probably get to that in the next couple of days - the session seems to have been wonderfully acrimonious. On deposition duty again yesterday Felten seems to have found himself covering well-trampled territory. Microsoft attorney Steve Holley bashed away with claims that Felten's program simply hides IE rather than removing it, while Felten retorted that the program was only intended to demonstrate that Microsoft could ship Windows without IE if it wanted to. Felten is of course right, and the amount of IE that can or cannot be removed is related to which DLLs are needed for which functions. Which of course leads us on to querying which DLLs are needed for multiple functions, and why Microsoft has chosen to link them in this way. Basically, have some been glued together arbitrarily as a spurious justification for integration, or does the integration provide real benefits? Expect more sound than light on this one when Felten takes the stand. ® Complete Register trial coverage

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