Tale of the videotape, take two

Microsoft Corporation came to court Thursday with a hastily re-made video tape, this one created in the presence of government officials, that attempted to show that removing IE from Windows wasn't only detrimental to the OS, but rendered it inoperable. Unfortunately, the task proved a bit tough: While Microsoft employees working the system were able to duplicate some of the problems they had demonstrated in earlier, botched, video demonstration, the key issue--that the system would run slower--was never duplicated.

The video, which played out to a mind-numbing 70 minutes, was sans-editing and included only a handful of the tests shown in the original video the company used. Of course, the original was also shown to be so heavily edited that it wasn't certain that Microsoft hadn't falsified evidence, so it agreed to recreate it in the presence of government officials. In the new video, Microsoft VP Jim Allchin accessed the Amazon.com Web site after IE was supposedly removed and demonstrated that two Microsoft applications, Money 99 and Deluxe CD (from Plus!98), no longer worked.

The government says it isn't impressed.

"As a 2.0 version, \[the video\] was a 2.0 version which has some improvements over the prior version but still has some problems," said government attorney David Boies. "It didn't address what was really the focus of the first demonstration, the alleged performance degradation of the \[IE removal\] program."

Microsoft says the performance tests were impossible because of the poor quality of the dial-up connection they were able to get in Washington. Indeed, many pointless minutes of the new video shows Allchin trying over and over again to connect at all. And his connection failed during one of the tests, causing him to redial and reconnect.

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