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MS urged Symantec boss to write articles defending it

Gordon Eubanks didn't remember, but fortunately there were emails...

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Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet

MS on Trial Former Symantec CEO and general-purpose industry guru Gordon Eubanks was caught in the old memory fork last week when DoJ attorney David Boies 'reminded' him that he had indeed written newspaper articles defending Microsoft at Microsoft's request. Eubanks has been fairly active in dashing off pieces supporting Microsoft, but under questioning from Boies he didn't seem able to recall if Microsoft had asked him to do so. Oops. Boies produced an email chain from February 1998 (short memory or what?) between Eubanks and Microsoft VP Brad Chase. Chase asks Eubanks to write a piece, Eubanks says he'll consider it. Then a little later he suggests to Chase that Microsoft shouldn't bundle McAfee anti-virus software. Eubanks will be telling us he doesn't remember being CEO of McAfee rival Symantec next. The timing of the exchange is of course significant. Early last year Microsoft was marshalling support in an attempt to neutralise the DoJ threat, and to head-off hearings on competition by the US Senate Judiciary Committee. Industry veteran Eubanks was and is an important ally. On Friday he also conceded that he'd agreed to appear as a Microsoft defence witness at the urging of Microsoft contacts, and after a phone call from Bill Gates himself. ® Complete Register trial coverage

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