Microsoft Trial Update: Microsoft Continues To Grill Barksdale - InformationWeek

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Microsoft Trial Update: Microsoft Continues To Grill Barksdale

Microsoft Corp. forces continued to grill Netscape Communications Corp. president Jim Barksdale Wednesday afternoon.

Microsoft attorney John Warden dogged Barksdale, even asking him to disclose information on the company's latest financial results for Netscape's fiscal fourth quarter ending in late October.

Warden again turned the table on the Netscape chief, insinuating that Netscape lobbied the government to intervene when it saw its browser market share dwindling.

Warden asked Barksdale if innovation was stifled by Microsoft entering the market. Barksdale responded that the company had scotched some plans, including Javagator, because of Microsoft. "What do you mean? That Microsoft challenged your God given right to 95 percent of the browser market?," parried Warden. Barksdale has often been quoted talking facetiously about that "God given right."

Warden repeatedly painted a picture of one competitor vainly trying to protect market share by invoking the government, while Microsoft competed based on the company's merits. "What was GM's market share before the Japanese automakers entered the market," he asked pointedly before David Boies, the lead Justice Department attorney objected.

The exchanges at times were testy. Apple Computer Inc. executive Avie Tevanian was due to testify today but it seems increasingly unlikely that he will be called this week. The hearing continues Thursday.

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