Redmond lawyers tried to soften the blow by casting aspersions on McGeady. He's not a key player, they suggested. His memory is faulty (given Gates's own peculiar lack of recollection in front of DOJ lawyers, this is probably not the best tactic). But Microsoft shouldn't worry too much about McGeady, who is attempting to prove that the software giant is capable of threatening friends just as easily as foes. His major impact, so far, has been to provide comic relief to a trial that began to drag many weeks ago.
Similarly, Microsoft lightened the mood Monday by playing a tape of Steve Jobs announcing Apple's deal with Microsoft at the 1997 Mac World convention. It was supposed to show that settling the patent dispute was more important to Apple than bundling Internet Explorer. But the intent got a little lost when the mere mention of Microsoft's then-inferior software brought peals of laughter from the conventioneers. The judge was amused, too.