Bill Gates to testify

Bill Gates is to take the stand tomorrow in the on-going antitrust case in America. It will be the first time he has appeared in court as Microsoft fights the suit brought against it by nine US states.

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By  Neil Denslow Published  April 21, 2002

Microsoft founder, Bill Gates is to take the stand tomorrow in the on-going antitrust case in America. It will be the first time he has appeared in person in court as the company fights the antitrust suit brought against it by nine US states.

“Bill Gates is glad to have the opportunity to testify in the remedy proceedings,” says a company statement.

“He will address the evolution of the PC industry and the critical role Microsoft, PC manufacturers and independent software vendors have played in making computing accessible to consumers and making technology an engine for economic growth. Like other Microsoft witnesses, including representatives from many sectors of the PC ecosystem, he will speak to the potential harm to consumers and the industry posed by the non-settling states’ remedy proposals,” the statement continues.

In the deposition stage of the trial, Gates appeared in video testimony and repeatedly answered questions by saying “I don’t know” or “I don’t recall.” When shown e-mail messages that seemingly contradicted him, he would say that he didn’t remember them.

Gates therefore seems to be taking a risk in testifying, as he will be confronted with these contradictions.

“It’s what we sometimes call a high variance strategy,” Emmett Stanton, an antitrust lawyer with Fenwick & West in Palo Alto, California, told CNet News.com. “It could be a very terrific performance and very persuasive or it could be a disaster—and probably not in between.”

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