MS/DOJ - Gates to take the stand Monday

Adding some heft to its antitrust case, Microsoft Corp. on Monday plans to call its top official, Bill Gates, to the stand.

Gates, Microsoft's chairman and chief software architect, will be the eighth witness to testify on behalf of the software giant as the remedy hearing involving Microsoft, nine states and the District of Columbia enters its sixth week of testimony.

Gates is expected to testify about "the potential harm to customers and the industry posed by the non-settling states' remedy proposals," the company said in a statement Friday. He is also expected to deliver his take on the evolution of the PC industry and Microsoft's involvement in that evolution.

No doubt Microsoft attorneys are hoping Gates' Monday testimony will go more smoothly than when video portions of the chairman's deposition were played in court during the liability portion of the trial in October of 1998. Gates was widely criticized for acting defensively and arguing with government lawyers in that video.

Microsoft officials said the company will release copies of Gates' written direct testimony on Sunday evening. In this hearing before U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, witnesses submit their written testimony -- mostly in support of one side's remedies and against the other's, since remedies are the topic of this hearing -- before they testify in person. Once they are put on the stand, the opposing side's lawyers begin oral cross-examination, and then attorneys for the witness' side are given a chance to ask follow-up questions, which is called re-direct.

Last year the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld a lower court's decision that Microsoft violated antitrust law by maintaining its monopoly in the PC operating system market through anticompetitive behavior. The Court of Appeals rejected the lower court's antitrust remedies, however, and sent the case back to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Kollar-Kotelly called this hearing to listen to proposed remedies from the states and Microsoft, and she will make the final decision.

Microsoft has characterized the remedies being sought by the states that did not sign on to the proposed settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice and nine other states as potentially harmful to consumers and the industry. Gates will expound on that in his testimony. The litigating states are seeking restrictions on Microsoft that go beyond the company's conduct in the PC operating system market to include its business practices in the Web services, handheld device, set-top box, and server operating system markets.

The software company put its first witness on the stand Tuesday, following more than four weeks of testimony from the states' fifteen witnesses. While the states' witness list included industry executives, economists, and technical experts, nearly half of Microsoft's potential witness list is comprised of Microsoft executives. A Microsoft attorney on Thursday said Jim Allchin, group vice president of the company's platform division, will testify during the hearing, and Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer is listed as a possible witness.

On Friday, Microsoft delivered to attorneys for the suing states its list of witnesses scheduled to take the stand next week. In addition to Gates, Microsoft said it would call to the stand executives from its Windows and MSN Internet divisions, as well as the vice president in charge of the technology at the core of the operating system known as the Windows base OS kernel.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill


I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?