Maritz: We weren't interested in browser share

Paul Maritz, who oversees all of Microsoft Corporation's software development, told a disbelieving court Tuesday that the software giant was never interested in Web browser marketshare. His comments came during the second day of his cross-examination by lead DOJ attorney David Boies, and the reaction was, shall we say, not very dignified. Worse yet, Boies then introduced a 1996 memo from Maritz titled "Internet Browsers, The Problem: Browser Market Share." This memo detailed the marketshare of both IE and Netscape at the time, including a summary of Netscape's business strategy.

Maritz side-stepped the issue by explaining that making sales, not harming Netscape, was the primary goal. Boies then produced an email sent from Microsoft CEO Bill Gates to Maritz in 1996 that reads in part, "Winning Internet browser market share is a very, very important goal for us."

Maritz said that Gates was simply trying to get people to use Microsoft's Internet technology.

To his credit, Maritz maintained his cool and, perhaps most annoyingly to Boies, spent long periods of time reading over court documents before responding to questions. Maritz has been described as cool and methodical

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