Microsoft CEO Bill Gates began his first day of questioning Thursday as the depositions of key Microsoft executives began at the company's Redmond campus. Attorneys for the State of New York are representing all of the states suing Microsoft for its alleged anti-competitive practices during the questioning. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) will also question Gates separately.

The session, which was videotaped, could have turned into a media circus had the Appellate Court upheld a decision by Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson that would have allowed the press to attend. The Court decided that such a viewing could jeopardize Microsoft's trade secrets, so the videotaping will allow future viewing by the press with any mention of these secrets removed.

In the coming weeks, over two dozen other Microsoft executives, including president Steve Ballmer, will be deposed. The trial is set to begin on September 23