Government Reinforces Case Against Microsoft

The Justice Department cited new evidence Thursday to back charges that Microsoft Corp. sought to leverage its dominance in operating systems software to boost its then-flagging Internet browser program.

In papers filed in U.S. District Court here, the department’s antitrust division urged Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson to quickly rule that Microsoft has violated a 1995 federal court order aimed at preventing anitcompetitive software licensing practices.

The department sued Microsoft last month, alleging it was trying to corner the market on browsers, which enable computer users to find and retrieve information on the Internet.

Justice officials sought to show the Windows 95 operating system and the Internet Explorer were conceived as separate products.

The Justice court documents cited a 1996 e-mail from Microsoft executive Jim Allchin who fretted he didn’t understand how the Internet Explorer software “is going to win” greater marketshare.

“My conclusion is that we must leverage Windows more. Treating IE (Internet Explorer) as just an add-on to Windows which is cross-platform (is) losing our biggest advantage - Windows marketshare,” Allchin’s memo said.

Microsoft spokesman Mark Murray said he hadn’t had a chance to review the government’s latest filing, but he disputed the general thrust of the government’s charges.

“The consent decree specifically allows Microsoft to develop integrated products,” Murray said.

Tags: business

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