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The Register: Smoking email suggests Gates ordered PDA techno-sabotage

May 02, 2000, 18:40 (8 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Graham Lea)

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"A cracker of an email from Gates to senior Microsoft executives has come to light, but unfortunately the text has been redacted, possibly because it has not been presented to the court. If this is the case we may get to know more if Judge Jackson allows it to be filed publicly at the hearing."

"We can get some clues about the context in which the email is discussed. The DoJ Memorandum says: "On July 11, 1999, less than thirty days after the conclusion of the trial in this action, Bill Gates wrote an email directing that Microsoft redesign its software in order to harm competitors. This time, the products in question were the Personal Digital Appliances that Microsoft heralded at trial as one of the products that might someday undo its monopoly. After discussing the Palm computing platform, Mr Gates concluded in his email: [and this is where the redacted email is quoted]. Frustrating, isn't it?"

"But hang on, there's a bit more. A Declaration by Rebecca Henderson (more about her role soon), first refers to a Gates' email of 28 January 1997 "instructing staff that it would be the wrong strategy not to force Office users to use IE and to make unilateral extensions to HTML, instructing them to patent elements of Microsoft's HTML rendering engine and make it extremely hard to clone, and explaining sarcastically that if his staff does not want .to do anything proprietary' in the browser, they .have to stop viewing HTML as central to our strategy and get another strategy'."

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