Microsoft CEO Bill Gates "exploded" on TCI chairman John Malone in 1996 when Malone informed Gates of his plans to launch a new high-speed cable modem Internet access service called @Home that would not feature any Microsoft technology. This information is according to a 1996 email message from a TCI executive that was released today as part of the government's antitrust trial against Microsoft Corporation. The email was forwarded to Netscape's official stooge for the DOJ, Marc Andreessen, who seems to come up with these documents on a regular basis for some reason.
The email, which was titled "Gates on the warpath," described an insanely enraged CEO.
"Apparently, even by Gate's standards, it was a scalding conversation," the executive wrote. "Just thought you'd be interested. We just can't understand why he's so \[upset\] about @Home--we're no threat to them! Amazing."
To counter @Home, Microsoft invested $1 billion in TCI competitor Comcast, and bought a 10% stake in Road Runner (for over $200 million), another company that offers Internet access through cable.
Since that time, @Home has struck a deal with Microsoft and now offers its Internet Explorer browser to subscribers (Indeed, I use the @Home service for Internet access. I remember the "Navigator-only" days, though you could always use IE if you wanted to get it yourself, of course --Paul). @Home has also started integrating Microsoft Windows NT Servers into their systems and will offer Windows CE-based Web terminals to customers beginning in 1999.
"We have a good relationship with Microsoft," said an @Home spokesperson