In a stunning legal defeat for Microsoft Corporation, Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson has ordered the company to turn over its source code for Windows 98 to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). He also ordered CEO Bill Gates, and sixteen other Microsoft executives, to appear for questioning as often as the government requests. Previously, Gates said he would only be available for a single day of questioning and the company only wanted eight executives to appear.
"\[I will not impose\] a time restraint on the length of time Mr. Gates may be deposed," Jackson said.
But Microsoft didn't take the action in stride: Instead, the software behemoth will ask the court on Monday to immediately dismiss the anti-trust case filed against it by the DOJ. Microsoft attorneys say the company has evidence that disproves the DOJ's accusations. The expected defense: That Microsoft planned to include Internet integration in Windows before the company Netscape was even created. The proof: Score of memos from Microsoft executives and programmers such as Steve Ballmer, Bill Gates, David Pollen, Brad Silverberg, and others discussing Internet integration plans. The DOJ specifically accuses Microsoft's of trying to destroy Netscape when it became obvious, after the fact, that the Internet was taking off.
"We believe the Court can resolve this case now without the need for an expensive and time-consuming trial," said William H. Neukom, senior lawyer for Microsoft. "The facts established in discovery show that the government's claims are without merit.