Government attorney David Boies stunned the courtroom Tuesday during the Microsoft antitrust trial when he showed that the videotape demonstration that the company had shown Monday was edited to falsely support its claims. In the video, whose production was overseen by VP Jim Allchin, now on the stand, Microsoft executive Yusuf Mehdi demonstrates that a program designed to remove IE from Windows actually slows down the system. But Boies freeze-framed through the video, showing that it had been edited by hand, as a Windows title bar suddenly changes its caption mid-stream. And Boies accused Allchin and Microsoft of faking the video in an attempt to prove a point that has no technical merit.
"You do understand that you came in here and you swore that this was accurate," Boies asked Allchin. "You know it does matter whether what you say here is right or wrong. You know that matters, don't you?"
"What's on the screen is the truth," Allchin said, vaguely. Does that mean that Windows is slower without IE or that Microsoft had faked the video? We may never know.
"I accept you telling the truth," Boies retorted, "but your trust was misplaced."
Boies asked Allchin how the system could be running more slowly when a different system suddenly appears in that frame.
"From what I'm seeing here, they filmed the wrong system," he replied. "They probably just filmed it several times and they probably grabbed the wrong tape. I didn't worry about having to go supervise every bit of this. To a certain extent, it doesn't matter. These problems still exist."
Microsoft spokesperson Mark Murray ran interference later in the day.
"If there was some kind of mix up in the editing of a small portion of a two-hour video, I don't believe that that is going to undermine Allchin's testimony," he said