MS caught searching for massaged Netscape sales data

First decide on the result, then get the data. Heard it before?

MS on Trial Microsoft seems totally unable to learn from its earlier unpleasant trial experiences, if one of the most recent published email exchanges is to be believed. It took place this year, when Microsoft's legal team would already have searching for material to shore up its case in the rebuttal phase of the trial, and yes folks, it's one of those 'find me some data that shows' ones. Several times already Microsoft has been caught deciding on what it wants to prove and then finding or fixing the survey data that proves it. This time it was company spokesman Greg Shaw writing: "What data can we find right away that shows Netscape browser share is still healthy? It would help if you could send me some reports showing their market share healthy and holding. This is for press purposes." Windows product manager Robert Bennett answered that all of the analysts seemed to agree that Netscape's share was in decline while Microsoft's was growing. He added, helpfully, that as Microsoft had been saying it was winning because it had better technology, having Microsoft saying Netscape was doing well would be contradictory. Tricky. But our old friend Yusef Mehdi put Bennett right: "Rob, this is for the trial so let's provide the more negative analysts to Greg so he can source counterpoints," he said. ® Complete Register trial coverage

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