The Tale of the Gates Tapes

Could Microsoft's CEO really be as forgetful and out of the loop as he claimed in court?

When the Justice Department served Bill Gates with an antitrust complaint that could, in theory, lead to Microsoft's breakup, he didn't bother reading it. At a key point in his war against archrival Sun Microsystems, Gates fired off an e-mail about Microsoft's plans to use Apple Computer to "undermine Sun," but now he can't remember sending the message and has no idea what he could have meant by it. And although Microsoft had two high-level negotiations in June 1995 with Netscape--the company that seemed to pose the greatest threat to Microsoft's dominance--Gates says he learned of them only last spring in...

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