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Gates' DoJ testimony for sale on eBay

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What could be better than having to sit through hours of butt-numbing depositions from Microsoft executives during the company's antitrust dust up with the US Department of Justice (DoJ)?

How about watching them on TV all over again? Or at least watching Microsoft's chief software architect Bill Gates' notorious 1998 deposition in particular - all 17 hours of it?

That's the eye watering possibility awaiting the lucky owner of a collection of 11 DVDs that are being sold on eBay by Little Rock, Arkansas resident Dave Mitchell.

According to Mitchell, whose seller name is "true-view," this "very, very rare and revealing" classic will "reveal to you a deep view into the mind of Bill Gates. Some will make you angry and much will enlighten you. Excellent material for learning, or research for the future Bill Gates business person" - particularly if that next businessperson is looking for tips on how not to handle a massive antitrust case.

The testimony, extracts of which are available here, saw Gates questioned over various emails and conversations with top executives about potential plans to harm Sun's Java business and Netscape. The testimony reveals Gates possessed a Regan-esque skill for being unable to recall sending or receiving incriminating emails or the details of specific conversations about strategies that involved squeezing Apple Computer and other fun tales.

Gates appearance on video was largely regarded as having hurt, not helped, Microsoft's case as Gates seemed disengaged from his business and unresponsive to questioning. Trial Judge Thomas Penfield Jackons ultimately characterized Gates as a lousy witness.

Extracts of the video, recorded by the DoJ, were played in court against the wishes of Microsoft's attorneys and released to the media. Gates insisted he'd answered every question "completely, truthfully through many, many long days" and accused prosecutors of using snippets out of context.

Media were given access to Gates’ video performance, and clips are also accessible on the web and in library archives. ®

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