Chase: Microsoft never planned IE-less Windows 98

Microsoft vice president Brad Chase, facing down DOJ lawyers during his first day in court for the Microsoft antitrust trial Thursday, said that there never were plans for a version of Windows 98 that didn't include Internet Explorer. DOJ attorney David Boies, however, presented a series of emails and testimony from other Microsoft executives that dispute that claim.

In fact, Boies presented email from Jim Allchin and other Microsoft executives showing that the debate to include IE in Windows lasted for months, mostly because members of the Windows team thought the software was just too buggy to include as part of the operating system.

The day began with another Microsoft video, this one showing how easy it is to download and install Netscape's Web browser. The video was designed to show that Microsoft's exclusive deals with ISPs did nothing to prevent users from getting Netscape if they so desired. Boies argued that downloading Netscape takes 20-60 minutes using a typical modem, however, while IE typically comes installed on the computer. Chase countered that over 11 million copies of Internet Explorer had been downloaded from the Web, despite its size, and that Web distribution was viable for any company, including Netscape

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