Microsoft touts integration in and out of court

Microsoft showed video tapes in court Monday morning, showing Judge Jackson that the integration of Internet Explorer with Windows was done to aid customers, not harm Netscape. Whether the infomercial-like videos had the desired effect are unknown. The video tape represented a prelude, of sorts, to the testimony of Microsoft VP Jim Allchin, who has steadfastly defended his company's decision to bundle IE with Windows. Monday afternoon, Allchin faced a brutal cross-examination by DOJ attorney David Boies, who forced Allchin to admit that Microsoft could have given customers the same user experience by not bundling the two products.

"If you took a Windows 95 machine without any Internet Explorer technologies and added a browser that you got off the Internet, you'd get the same rich experience you got \[in this video tape\]?"

"Yes, I believe that's correct," Allchin said softly.

Later, the government trumpeted it's success.

"This is not a trial about whether Navigator is better than IE or whether IE is better than Navigator," he said during a break. "This is a trial about whether consumers ought to have a free choice."

"\[Microsoft has\] no technological justification for what was done," he says.

Meanwhile, in a related development, Microsoft CEO Bill Gates addressed the press at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Monday and said that his company would be integrating more than IE into Windows.

When asked whether being more competitive was worth the legal hassles, Gates said, "I think it'd be a tragedy if any government action held companies back in terms of doing more advanced products. Certainly in the case of my company, we are going to do everything to continue our culture, which is having these products with more integrated features, and trying to stay ahead of what is a very exciting business."

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