Late last week in the Microsoft trial, a series of embarrassing internal emails shows that Microsoft employees knew that it had done Netscape in. When Microsoft spokesperson Greg Shaw asked two other employees how the company could show that Netscape wasn't being overly damaged by Internet Explorer, the news was obvious: Microsoft's attempts to kill Netscape were working and there was no way to put any other spin on the story.
"What data can we find right away that shows Netscape browser share is still healthy?" asked Greg Shaw. "It would help if you could send me some reports showing their market share healthy and holding. This is for press purposes."
"All of the analysts have pretty much come to the same conclusion, which is that (Netscape) share is declining and (Microsoft's) is gaining," replied Windows product manager Robert Bennett. "I don't want to be proactively telling people that (Netscape's) share is doing well--we are winning because we have better technology--if we show them maintaining/gaining share then we contradict that point."
How bad was this revelation? Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson laughed when it was read aloud in court on Friday.
Another little embarrassment for the software giant: Microsoft lawyer Michael Lacovara entered as evidence an email from Microsoft executive David Cole entitled "Linux is beating Windows." This email cited sales figures from two west coast computer retailers that showed Linux outselling Windows 98 recently. Jackson referred to the document as a "self-serving, out-of-court declaration.