Gates in the Dock

Can the Justice Department cut Microsoft down to size? Get set for the trial of the 21st century

You couldn't blame Microsoft's legal team for feeling a little cranky last week. Just as the lawyers prepped for opening arguments in their historic antitrust suit, word came through that their bid to force a pair of Harvard and M.I.T. professors to hand over taped, off-the-record interviews had been tossed out of a Boston court. What these tapes were said to contain had the software giant's people salivating: top executives at Netscape, their chief rival in the browser wars, were caught candidly admitting to strategic--perhaps fatal--business blunders. It would have been "the best evidence," laments Charles ("Rick") Rule, Microsoft legal consultant...

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