Microsoft Tangled Up in Videotape Evidence

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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 hasnít made for gripping headlines. But on Tuesday the governmentís point man, David Boies, suggested in court that a videotape offered as evidence by Microsoft had been altered, and as soon as Bill Gatesís 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, thereís 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 Microsoftís Internet Explorer web browser from a computer running the Windows 98 operating system would make that machine run significantly more slowly. This would support Microsoftís point that the browser was an integral part of the operating system, and thus that Microsoft couldnít be accused of leveraging its near-monopoly on operating systems to gain market share for its browser. MORE>>