Representatives from Microsoft Corporation and the U.S. Department of Justice faced Judge Jackson on Tuesday, hoping to turn the tide in a nasty legal battle centered around the bundling of Windows 95 and Internet Explorer. While the hearing is scheduled to last 2-3 days, neither side held any punches on day one.
Both Microsoft and the DOJ spent much time simply reiterating their respective sides of the case: the DOJ believes that Microsoft is making a mockery of the legal system while it flaunts its monopoly power in OSes to push a free browser down consumer's throats. Microsoft, meanwhile, asserts that it is simply doing what customers want and it contends that it has complied with the Judge's previous ruling.
"Microsoft defied rather than complied with the order," said Philip Malone, a lead attorney for the DOJ.
"The government, not Microsoft, is the cause of confusion in the mind of the court and the view of the public," said an attorney representing Microsoft.
The DOJ's expert technical witness, Glenn Weadock, testified that the Add/Remove Programs utility could easily be used to remove Internet Explorer. In fact, a dialog box points out that IE will be removed if the user proceeds with the process, he said. Microsoft attorneys ate up Weadock, however, making him admit that he didn't know C (the programming language used to create Windows 95 and IE) and couldn't identify which files were related to the OS and which were needed for IE.
Late in the day, Microsoft's David Cole finally took the stand, but his testimony was cut short when the hearing concluded for the day. Cole did, however, emphasize Microsoft's belief that IE and Windows are highly integrated.
The judge is expected to make a ruling soon after the hearing ends. So far, he doesn't appear to be swayed by Microsoft's argument that it has complied with his December ruling. Microsoft is offering two essentially useless versions of Windows 95 to OEMs as its way of complying with the court order to not force the bundling of Windows 95 and Internet Explorer. A few weeks ago, Judge Jackson said he had no problems removing Internet Explorer from Windows himself; Tuesday, he asked Microsoft why it didn't come to the court for clarification of his order. Most people are expecting the judge to rule against Microsoft; the question now is how severe the ruling will be