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Apple Computer has accused top Microsoft executives of using blackmail tactics to try to force Apple to drop its copyright suit against Microsoft and to halt the development of competitive software. Threats to withhold the pre-release version of their new operating system, Windows 95, including two made by Microsoft chairman Bill Gates personally, were detailed in a Feb. 13 letter written by Apple chief executive Michael Spindler to U.S. District Judge Stanley Sporkin, who was reviewing Microsoft's antitrust settlement. The next day, Sporkin rejected the settlement, though he wrote that Apple's comments were not considered in the judgement. Spindler also said that after Apple had tried for a year to get the software, which it needed in order to develop cross-platform applications, a copy was provided only when U.S. assistant district attorney Anne Bingaman, who negotiated the antitrust case, pressured Microsoft to cooperate.