Microsoft's Defense: Scared of the Palm Pilot?

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Three months into the landmark antitrust trial Microsoft finally began to tell its side of the story this week. But thanks to the perverse logic of its defense, Microsoft's lead witness sounds more like some rapid Apple partisan, Slashdot longhair or Java futurist.

Microsoft wants to portray the industry that it dominates as competitive, at least enough to excuse the strong-arm tactics that executives from Intel, Apple, Intuit and Netscape all testified to as government witnesses. So in a case of dueling MIT economists Microsoft's first witness is the dean of MIT's business school, and a former student of the government's last witness, a fellow MIT professor -- Microsoft found itself maintaining with a straight face that the Be operating system, iMac and Palm Pilot each constitute threats to Windows.