Microsoft Tangled Up in Videotape Evidence

  • Share
  • Read Later
In the past few weeks the Microsoft trial had been in danger of slipping out of the public eye. Its endless procession of less-than-riveting economics professors and forgetful executives, mixed with scads of legal and technical split hairs, just hasn’t made for gripping headlines. But on Tuesday the government’s point man, David Boies, suggested in court that a videotape offered as evidence by Microsoft had been altered, and as soon as Bill Gates’s team had wriggled out from under that one, yet more doubts about the tape cropped up. Did Microsoft really try to slip faked evidence into the courtroom?

Of course, there’s nothing the media -- or the prosecution, for that matter -- likes better than a little doctored tape. The videotaped demonstration was intended to demonstrate that removing Microsoft’s Internet Explorer web browser from a computer running the Windows 98 operating system would make that machine run significantly more slowly. This would support Microsoft’s point that the browser was an integral part of the operating system, and thus that Microsoft couldn’t be accused of leveraging its near-monopoly on operating systems to gain market share for its browser. MORE>>