Microsoft Named Its Own Price for Windows 98

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It's customary in legal battles to call witnesses that help make your case. Microsoft apparently has some other scheme in mind in dealing with trustbusters. With only one defense witness remaining for Microsoft -- and the promise soon of a six-week recess -- testimony was released yesterday from the Microsoft executive who set the price of Windows 98. In those papers, Microsoft senior vice president Joachim Kempin says that he picked his price without having to consider the competition.

"This comes close to an admission that Microsoft holds monopoly power," said Steve Newborn, a lawyer with Rogers & Wells, who once worked on a case against Microsoft for the Federal Trade Commission. Perhaps equally important, District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson questioned Kempin skeptically about sworn statements by a Gateway executive who said that his computer manufacturing firm was threatened by Microsoft not to offer alternatives to Windows NT. At one point Judge Jackson interrupted and said soberly, "Gateway is responding to an official inquiry by the Department of Justice and says that Microsoft representatives [made the threats]... Are you saying that never happened?" MORE>>