Microsoft shows discrepancies in AOL/Netscape deal

The word from America Online (AOL) CEO Steve Case was that his company purchased Netscape solely to gain access to its Web portal, NetCenter, not the Navigator browser that is at the center of the Microsoft antitrust trial. Not true, says Microsoft. Wednesday, the software giant introduced AOL documents from last November that talk about Navigator as a crucial piece of the merger, with AOL suggesting that it be made into a more complete competitor to Windows.

"Extend \[Navigator\] to be a more comprehensive desktop application, bundling communications and productivity applications to absorb more share of computing time, with the goal of becoming user's de facto environment," read the memo, titled "Strategic Rationale, the Plan."

In other courtroom machinations, government witness Franklin Fisher came under attack from Microsoft lawyers for having a potential conflict of interest: Fisher is the chairman of the board of Charles River Associates, a company whose employees may very well end up representing other companies in court should Microsoft be found guilty.

"It would only be a conflict if you thought it was affecting his testimony," lead government attorney David Boies said

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