MS trial: Is it integrated or bundled?

The Microsoft antitrust trial resumed on Monday with both sides arguing over Internet Explorer: Is it bundled or integrated with Windows? Edward Felton, an educator from Princeton University, took the stand for the government, asserting that IE is simply bundled with Windows but made to appear integrated by replacing key system files with files from IE. Microsoft lawyer David Heiener was badgerng Felton over his definition of the way Windows and IE work together when Judge Jackson interrupted angrily.

"You are playing word games \[Mr. Heiener\]. \[Felton\] has told you at least a dozen times and maybe more that there is code in each of the files, some of which is unrelated to browser functionality. If you continue this \[line of questioning\] in the hopes that he will make a slip of the lip I don't think it is an appropriate cross-examination," Jackson said. "To pursue this line of questioning simply appears to be inviting him to make a careless mistake."

Felton says that Microsoft could easily remove Internt Explorer from Windows but chooses not to because they are trying to remove the Netscape threat. He said that he and two graduate students wrote a small program that removes the Web browsing functionality from Windows 98 without damaging the operating system at all.

"There is absolutely no technological justification for what Microsoft did", said DOJ David Boies later. "They did it, purely and simply, to prevent customer choice. There is no plausible efficiency justification for what Microsoft has done."

Naturally, Microsoft doesn't see it that way. The company says that Felton's program simply removes functionality from Windows, but doesn't actually remove the Internet Explorer code from the OS. This isn't a benefit to anyone, the company argues.

"You cannot remove the Web browsing software in Windows 98," said Microsoft spokesperson Mike Murray.

"The idea here is not to take away the choice of a user to use Internet Explorer 4, it's to restore choice to use an alternative Web browser," said Felten under cross-examination

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