Microsoft Pares Down Witness List

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2002-04-29

WASHINGTON D.C.—Citing weaknesses in the states case, Microsoft Corp. has decided to drop several of its witnesses originally slated to testify in the software giants behalf at its remedy proceedings.

Microsoft spokesman Jim Desler, said the Redmond, Wash., company has decided to not call eight people named on the witness list.

Microsoft originally said it would call between 25 and 30 witnesses in the hearing in which nine states and the District of Columbia, which did not sign on to the settlement reached last year between Microsoft and the Department of Justice, are seeking harsher penalties against the company. Microsoft, which is in its third week of presenting its case in U.S. District Court here, already has called 12 witnesses. The next slated witness, Richard Fade, senior vice president of Microsofts OEM division, will not be called, Desler said.

Fade joins three other Microsoft witnesses dropped from the list, along with four third-party witnesses. In addition to Fade, Microsoft will not call Roger Needham, Jeff Raikes and Brian Valentine, all of Microsoft. Needham is the managing director at Microsoft Research, Raikes is the Microsoft group vice president of the Business Productivity Division and Valentine is senior vice president of the Windows Division.

Third-party witnesses who will not be called include Mitchell Hill, CEO of Avanade Inc., John Johnston, a partner with August-Capital, Phillip Schoonover, executive vice president of digital technology services at Best Buy Inc., and Steve Silva, executive vice president and CTO of Charter Communications Inc.

Desler said that on Tuesday, Microsoft may call another witness instead of Fade or may show videotaped deposition testimony of Thomas Green, assistant attorney general of California.

When asked whether Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer or Vice President Jim Allchin will testify, Desler said there has been no decision yet. "Well assess which remaining witnesses well call to testify," he said.

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