– Microsoft Corp attorney Rick Pepperman, cross-examining IBM executive Garry Norris at the antitrust trial in Washington on Tuesday, asked if Norris was aware how many times IBM had itself been the subject of an antitrust investigation from the Department of Justice. Government lawyers immediately objected and Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson sustained the objection. But […]
– Microsoft Corp attorney Rick Pepperman, cross-examining IBM executive Garry Norris at the antitrust trial in Washington on Tuesday, asked if Norris was aware how many times IBM had itself been the subject of an antitrust investigation from the Department of Justice. Government lawyers immediately objected and Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson sustained the objection. But then Pepperman asked permission to question Norris about one antitrust case that IBM had defended. The case was IBM vs Telex Corp, a case concerning IBM’s alleged control of the plug-compatible mainframe market, which came to trial way back in 1973. The defense produced a huge document from the case, wanting to question Norris on its contents. What is the relevance of this? asked Judge Jackson (there always appears to be a friction between Judge Jackson and the unfortunate Pepperman). Pepperman said that in the case, IBM had taken a position inconsistent with the government’s current position. Who won the case? asked the Judge. Pepperman did not reply, other than deferring the question to David Boies, who leads the Government’s case. Boies announced IBM won, your honor.
– Giving further insight into the doublespeak used by Microsoft, notes taken by IBM executive Garry Norris in a meeting with Microsoft’s Bengt Ackerlind, said that Ackerlind was asking IBM to agree to neutralize” its desktops and ThinkPads, and even its business-level servers, by removing objectionable software.” The objectionable software included Lotus SmartSuite and Netscape Navigator, both clear rivals to Microsoft. However, making the platforms neutral, in Microsoft speak, did not mean loading no software on the machines in a way to create a level playing field for applications running on Windows operating systems. For Microsoft, a neutral platform is loaded with Microsoft applications, and only Microsoft applications, according to Norris. Asked how he could be so sure of Ackerlind’s meaning he replied Because I asked them and that is what they told me.
– When Microsoft suggested that it would call either Joachim Kempin or Mark Baber to testify that some internal documents presented by the defense yesterday were authentic, Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson quickly warned Microsoft council. He said If you are going to call Kempin or Baber they will have a lot more to testify here than just who wrote these documents. Neither Microsoft employee is scheduled to appear as one of the three rebuttal witnesses Microsoft will call.