Microsoft Edits Witness List

Apr 30, 2002

Attorneys for Microsoft told U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly that eight of the 17 witnesses remaining on its list would not take the stand, including four Microsoft executives, according to company spokesman Jim Desler. “After reviewing the progress made so far in our case, as well as assessing the states’ witnesses and what we believe are shortcomings in the states’ case, Microsoft has decided we will not call several individuals who were originally on our witness list,” says Desler.

An official with the holdout states says he doubts Microsoft is feeling so confident. Tom Greene, an assistant to California Attorney General Bill Lockyer, thinks Microsoft trimmed its witness list as a way of “reducing potential vulnerabilities in their case.”

The software giant reached a settlement with the Justice Department and nine other states last November. That agreement is designed to give computer makers more freedom to feature non-Microsoft software on the machines they sell. But nine states, including California, Massachusetts and Iowa, have refused to go along with the settlement, saying it is inadequate and won’t prevent future antitrust violations. The states want a version of Windows with removable features, like the Internet browser and media player, to level the playing field for Microsoft competitors.

Moderator Comment: What should be the final resolution
of the Microsoft anti-trust case?

In the interest of open disclosure, we must admit that
we own shares in Microsoft. That said, we find Mr. Gates and company’s contention
that the Windows operating system can not be unbundled, well, hard to believe.

Equally difficult for us to swallow is that Microsoft
did not use its market leverage (fairly or otherwise) to try and crush the competition.
We would not have invested in MSFT if they hadn’t attempted to do this. [George
Anderson – Moderator

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