‘President Bill Gates’ Wants to Punish Not Only Google After Using “Extensions” to the Web to Reinforce Microsoft’s Monopoly (Antitrust Violations Are a Microsoft Thing)

Posted in Antitrust, Google, Microsoft at 3:23 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The latest “Bill says” puff piece — in a spectacular reversal of narratives — frames the biggest culprit as the biggest authority

Antitrus and Gates

President Bill? Attorney General Bill? Have satirical reversals become reality? The author of that piece is a longtime Microsoft booster, a bit like a PR “extension” inside the media.

“Another suggestion In this mail was that we can’t make our own unilateral extensions to HTML I was going to say this was wrong and correct this also.”

Bill Gates [PDF]

Another suggestion In this mail was that we can’t make our own unilateral extensions to HTML I was going to say this was wrong and correct this also.

Summary: In gross distortion of facts and of history and in a rather incredible fashion (very shameless and insulting) the corporate media tries to paint Bill Gates as an antitrust hero that will save the world from monopolies

THE FOLLOWING bits from the Bill Gates deposition are worth highlighting, seeing that a lot of people accuse Google of doing things that Microsoft was — and still is — more culpable of (as GitHub is pushing more proprietary 'extensions').

The “Q” is Boies (interrogator), “A” is Bill Gates (almost lawyer but a college dropout who says he's no lawyer), and Mr. Heiner is Bill Gates’ lawyer:

20 Q. Let me ask you to look next at an
21 exhibit marked Government Exhibit 392. The second
22 item here purports to be a message from you to Paul
23 Maritz and Brad Silverberg with copies to a number of
24 other people dated January 28, 1997, at 10:34 a.m.
25 Do you see that?

1 A. Yes.
2 (The document referred to was marked
3 by the court reporter as Government Exhibit 392 for
4 identification and is attached hereto.)
5 Q. BY MR. BOIES: Did you send this
6 message to Mr. Maritz and Mr. Silverberg and others
7 on or about January 28, 1997?
8 A. I don't remember doing so, but I have
9 no reason to doubt that I did.
10 Q. You say that there has been -- the
11 beginning of the document, the very beginning of the
12 document you say, "There has recently been an
13 exchange on e-mail with people in the Office group
14 about Office and HTML. In one piece of mail people
15 were suggesting that Office had to work equally well
16 with all browsers and that we shouldn't force Office
17 users to use our browser. This is wrong and I wanted
18 to correct this."
19 Do you see that?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Did you send that message to Mr. Maritz
22 and Mr. Silverberg and others in or about January of
23 1997?
24 A. You already asked that and I told you I
25 don't remember sending it.

1 Q. Did you convey the substance of what is
2 here to Mr. Maritz and Mr. Silverberg in or about
3 January of 1997?
4 A. I don't know the time frame, but there
5 was a question for very advanced features in Office
6 that had to do with the fact that older browsers,
7 including our own older browsers, couldn't display
8 the information and should we therefore display it to
9 no one or what should we do about advance display
10 semantics. And I know in that case the issue came up
11 about should we support the advanced display
12 semantics at all.
13 Q. Is it your testimony, Mr. Gates, that
14 that is what you were talking about here?
15 A. Absolutely. That's what this
16 message -- I mean if you read it, that's what it is
17 about.
18 Q. This is a message that you don't recall
19 sending; is that correct?
20 A. I've read it today, but I don't recall
21 sending it, that's right.
22 Q. But what you're doing is you're
23 testifying under oath that when you say that you
24 should force Office users to use Microsoft's browser,
25 you were talking about what you just described; is

1 that your testimony?
2 A. I don't see that in the message.
3 Q. Well, you're saying here that Microsoft
4 should force Office users to use Microsoft's browser,
5 are you not, sir?
6 A. No.
7 Q. Well, sir, you say "In one piece of
8 mail people were suggesting that Office had to work
9 equally well with all browsers and that we shouldn't
10 force Office users to use our browser. This is wrong
11 and I wanted to correct this."
12 Is it your testimony under oath that
13 you are not saying that the assertion that you had
14 heard that Microsoft shouldn't force Office users to
15 use Microsoft's browser was wrong?
16 A. There's a sentence there that talks
17 about whether Office has to work equally well with
18 all browsers and because I'm talking about Trident
19 here, Trident was a set of technologies we were doing
20 to extend things so that you could work with Office
21 documents that are very rich documents in a new way
22 that no previous browser, including our own previous
23 browsers, was willing to display. And there was a
24 question of whether they should take advantage of
25 those Trident things or not. Some people were

1 questioning whether we should take advantage of those
2 Trident things and here I'm making very clear, and
3 all you have to do is read the complete e-mail, I'm
4 saying we should go ahead and take advantage of those
5 Trident things. Now, that is very different than
6 saying people are forced to use any browser. It's
7 just if you want the best experience in terms of
8 seeing those rich documents, what we're doing in
9 Trident I thought we should take advantage of.
10 Q. Now, sir, is it your testimony sitting
11 here under oath that when in the language that I have
12 quoted you wrote "This is wrong and I wanted to
13 correct this" relating to the previous sentence,
14 which had said "In one piece of mail people were
15 suggesting that Office had to work equally well with
16 all browsers and we shouldn't force Office users to
17 use our browser," you were talking about Trident? Is
18 that your testimony?
19 A. Well, I think you've mischaracterized
20 my testimony.
21 Q. All I'm asking is whether that is your
22 testimony. If you tell me that's not your testimony,
23 we go on. Is that what you're telling me, sir?
24 A. Are you trying to characterize my
25 previous testimony?

1 Q. I was trying to see whether we
2 understood your previous testimony.
3 A. Your characterization was wrong.
4 Q. Okay. In the second paragraph of this
5 exhibit you write "In one piece of mail people were
6 suggesting that Office had to work equally well with
7 all browsers and that we shouldn't force Office users
8 to use our browser. This is wrong and I wanted to
9 correct this." Does that statement relate to
10 Trident, sir?
11 A. I explained how it relates to Trident.
12 Q. So your answer is that that relates to
13 Trident; is that your testimony?
14 A. In order to know that, I read the
15 entire piece of e-mail and upon reading it, I know
16 that what that relates to is whether we should
17 exploit the advanced features of Trident so that
18 Office works particularly well with the new browser
19 from us with those Trident features.
20 Q. Mr. Gates, isn't it clear that the
21 discussion at the end of the memo about Trident is
22 about a different point than the point we've been
23 talking about?
24 A. Absolutely not.
25 Q. Well, sir, immediately after the

1 paragraph we've been talking about don't you write,
2 "Another suggestion in this mail was that we can't
3 make our own unilateral extensions to HTML. I was
4 going to say this was wrong and correct this also."
5 And then you go on to talk about Trident. Isn't that
6 what you wrote here?
7 A. I think you've correctly read some of
8 the words in the e-mail. We could go on and read
9 more of the words so you could understand why what
10 I've told you is correct.
11 Q. Is there anything in here that asserts
12 that forcing Office users to use Microsoft's browser
13 is limited to the Trident situation?
14 A. It's clearly about whether Office
15 should exploit HTML that takes advantage of Trident
16 and whether that's a good idea or not. That's what
17 this piece of e-mail is about.
18 Q. If that's all it's about, Mr. Gates,
19 why do you introduce the Trident discussion by saying
20 "Another suggestion in this mail is that we can't
21 make our own unilateral extensions to HTML. I was
22 going to say this was wrong and correct this also"?
23 Aren't you clearly saying this is an additional
24 point?
25 A. No. You're just trying to misread my

1 e-mail. It talks about Office.
2 Q. Yes, it certainly does talk about
3 Office. And it talks about forcing Office users to
4 use your browser; correct, sir?
5 A. No.
6 Q. It doesn't? When you say that somebody
7 is saying -- that you've seen an e-mail of people
8 saying "we shouldn't force Office users to use our
9 browser" and that this is wrong, you're not saying
10 that you should use Office to force users to use your
11 browser; is that what you're saying?
12 A. That was the most circular thing I've
13 ever heard.
14 Q. I think it was pretty circular
15 because --
16 A. You continue to not read the sentence
17 and look at the piece of e-mail. The question in
18 this e-mail is whether Office should work equally
19 well with all browsers. And it's talking about --
20 Q. Now, sir --
21 A. If you want to look further to
22 understand it --
23 Q. How about let me put a question.
24 MR. HEINER: Let me --
25 MR. BOIES: May I ask the witness what

1 question is he answering?
2 MR. HEINER: Whatever the last question
3 that was posed.
4 MR. BOIES: I want to know if he knows
5 what question he is answering.
6 THE WITNESS: Can you read back the
7 question?
8 Q. BY MR. BOIES: No. Can you tell me,
9 Mr. Gates, what question you're purporting to answer?
10 A. Your last question.
11 Q. Do you know what it is?
12 A. Could I make it as convoluted as you
13 did? No.
14 Q. Can you tell me what question you're
15 answering?
16 A. I can't repeat back that convoluted a
17 question. I could ask the reporter to.
18 Q. Can you tell me the substance of the
19 question you're answering?
20 MR. HEINER: Mr. Boies, pose the next
21 question.
22 MR. BOIES: Okay.
23 MR. HEINER: Let me suggest one. Ask
24 him about the first sentence, which is the subject
25 matter being introduced.

1 Q. BY MR. BOIES: Okay. Actually, I've
2 read the first sentence, but I'll read it again. The
3 first sentence, which is one paragraph, says "There
4 has recently been an exchange on e-mail with people
5 in the Office group about Office and HTML."
6 Second paragraph says "In one piece of
7 mail people were suggesting that Office had to work
8 equally well with all browsers and that we shouldn't
9 force Office users to use our browser. This is wrong
10 and I wanted to correct this."
11 Third paragraph says "Another
12 suggestion in this mail was that we can't make our
13 own unilateral extensions to HTML. I was going to
14 say this was wrong and correct this also."
15 Now, have I read correctly the first
16 three paragraphs of this memo, Mr. Gates?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And is it your testimony that when you
19 said that the e-mail suggesting that Office had to
20 work equally well with all browsers and that
21 Microsoft shouldn't force Office users to use
22 Microsoft's browser was wrong, that all you were
23 talking about there was Trident; is that your
24 testimony?
25 A. I'm not sure what you mean all I was

1 talking about. This e-mail is about Office and HTML.
2 Q. Yes.
3 A. There is a new extension to HTML being
4 created in Trident. There was a question of whether
5 Office could take advantage of it, which meant that
6 it would take advantage of those new browsers in a
7 better way than it would take advantage of our old
8 browsers or other people's browsers without those
9 extensions. I was suggesting here, and it's totally
10 a mischaracterization to suggest that that third
11 paragraph isn't totally in line with it, that we
12 should take advantage of those Trident HTML
13 extensions and, therefore, Office documents would
14 look better, at least for those users.
15 Q. And is it your testimony -- and all I'm
16 trying to do is clarify your testimony, Mr. Gates,
17 because once the testimony is done, then the trier of
18 fact can decide what credibility to give it. All I'm
19 trying to do is identify it. And you have said that
20 the extensions to HTML relates to Trident; correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Now, what I'm trying to find out is
23 whether these extensions to HTML that relate to
24 Trident is also the only point of your statement that
25 you should force Office users to use your browser?

1 A. That's a sentence fragment here. What
2 people were saying was if we took unique advantage of
3 Trident, wouldn't people feel like they needed to
4 upgrade to Trident. And I said, hey, if that's the
5 only way they can see the advanced document
6 capability, then fine.
7 Q. Mr. Gates, I mean that's not what this
8 e-mail says.
9 A. We certainly know what the e-mail says.
10 Q. Yes, exactly. And I don't mean to be
11 disrespectful here, but aren't you doing what we
12 talked about before here, just trying to substitute
13 different words for the words that you actually wrote
14 that you think will sound better in the context of
15 this litigation?
16 A. I've explained to you what this e-mail
17 is about. You don't seem to like the facts.
18 Q. Mr. Gates, my question, and if the
19 answer is yes or no or I don't understand your
20 question, you can give me that testimony. But is the
21 explanation that you're giving me now of this
22 document an explanation where you're trying to use
23 words differently now because of the litigation than
24 you used them back in 1997?
25 A. No.

1 Q. Not at all, sir?
2 A. No.
3 Q. Do you feel more uncomfortable
4 admitting in a deposition in this case that you were
5 trying to force Office users to use your browser than
6 you did back in January of 1997?
7 A. You're mischaracterizing the e-mail.
8 Q. Well, let me ask you a question
9 independent of the e-mail.
10 Do you feel more uncomfortable with the
11 characterization that Microsoft is forcing Office
12 users to use Microsoft's browser today than you did
13 back in January, 1997?
14 A. I've never been comfortable with
15 lawyers mischaracterizing the truth.
16 Q. Well, Mr. Gates, could I have my
17 question answered?
18 A. I answered it.
19 MR. BOIES: Would you read the question
20 back, please.
21 (Record read.)
22 Q. BY MR. BOIES: Could I have an answer
23 to that question, sir?
24 MR. HEINER: Objection.
25 THE WITNESS: My view of lawyers

1 mischaracterizing something has not changed.
2 Q. BY MR. BOIES: Mr. Gates, I'm not
3 talking about your view of lawyers mischaracterizing
4 things. I'm talking about your view of the use of
5 language. You've got a document in here in which you
6 talk about forcing Office users to use your browser.
7 You say "In one piece of mail people were suggesting
8 that Office had to work equally well with all
9 browsers and we shouldn't force Office users to use
10 our browser." You go on to say to the top executives
11 of your company, "This is wrong."
12 Now, my simple question is whether
13 you're more concerned about the use of those words
14 today than you were back in January of 1997, whether
15 this litigation is influencing the care and
16 precision, if you want to put it that way, with which
17 you are determined to use words?
18 A. I'm not sure what I'm comparing to
19 what.
20 Q. Okay, let me try to be clear. In
21 January of 1997 you wrote this e-mail --
22 A. In total.
23 Q. In total. And at the time you wrote
24 this e-mail, you didn't have any expectations it was
25 going to show up in this litigation, did you?

1 A. I'm not sure what you mean by that.
2 Q. What I mean is you thought this was a
3 private e-mail. You thought you were writing to your
4 executives and you didn't think anybody outside the
5 company was going to review this and do what I'm
6 doing now, which is asking you questions about it,
7 right?
8 A. Oh, I think the general notion that any
9 e-mail I write might be reviewed at some point is one
10 that I've understood certainly since 1990.
11 Q. So it is your testimony that taking
12 this e-mail in its entirety, that you today are
13 entirely comfortable that the memo, the e-mail in its
14 entirety, is a fair and accurate statement of your
15 views; is that correct?
16 A. If somebody takes the trouble to
17 understand it, yes.
18 Q. That is, if somebody reads this
19 document all the way through, takes the trouble to
20 figure out what is here, you say that's a fair and
21 accurate statement of your views; correct?
22 A. Views on what?
23 Q. Views on the things that you're talking
24 about in the memo.
25 Let me try to approach it a different

1 way. Sometimes when people write things after the
2 fact, they say "I wish I hadn't written it that way,
3 that just isn't accurate." Or "I overstated it," or
4 "I got it wrong." Are you saying that about this
5 document?
6 A. I guess I can say that if I realized
7 how you might misinterpret the thing, I would have
8 put a little footnote in here for you to help make
9 sure you didn't misinterpret it.
10 Q. And that's because you think that what
11 I'm doing, as you've said before, is
12 mischaracterizing what's here; correct?
13 A. Several of your questions I believe
14 have mischaracterized it.
15 Q. Now, suppose, Mr. Gates, that you have
16 to worry not about what I think about this memo,
17 which is really irrelevant, but only about what the
18 trier of fact thinks about this memo. Assume that a
19 neutral trier of fact is going to look at this memo
20 in a fair and balanced way. Would you say to that
21 neutral trier of fact "I really shouldn't have
22 written this. This really doesn't reflect my views.
23 I made a mistake"? Or would you say "If you read the
24 whole thing and read it fairly, that's what I
25 believe"?

1 A. If they understood what it was about, I
2 wouldn't feel any need to amend or change it.
3 Q. Okay, sir, that's -- I mean on that
4 basis, I think we can leave it to the trier of fact
5 to determine what it means. Because I think the one
6 thing -- you believe this memo is clear, don't you?
7 A. I don't know what you mean by that.
8 You've made it clear that somebody can misinterpret
9 this memo. Whether that is being done maliciously or
10 not, I don't know. So now I understand that somebody
11 who doesn't understand the subject matter of the memo
12 can misinterpret it. In particular you can
13 misinterpret what is meant there.
14 Q. Well, you've told us that extensions to
15 HTML that you are referring to here were the Trident
16 extensions, haven't you, sir? That's what you've
17 said?
18 A. And general principals about HTML
19 extensions, yes.
20 MR. HEINER: Will the Antitrust
21 Division of the United States, when it tries this
22 case, present information to the trier of fact so
23 that the trier of fact understands what HTML is, what
24 Trident is and so forth, or will it present snippets
25 and fragments as it did in the fall in the consent

1 decree case?
2 MR. BOIES: I believe the trier of fact
3 will have this entire document and we will ask the
4 trier of fact to read this entire document and we
5 will present to the trier of fact -- and if we don't,
6 you will -- everything that either of us can think of
7 that relates to the subject matter of this.
8 One of the things about a trial is we
9 both get our shot and if you think there is anything
10 that you can say to the trier of fact that will get
11 the trier of fact to interpret this differently than
12 I have, take your best shot.
13 MR. HEINER: All I'm saying is that
14 even the plaintiff in an action has an obligation as
15 an officer of the court to present facts in a summary
16 judgment motion, in a complaint, in a motion for
17 preliminary injunction or at the trial so that the
18 court can understand the full set of facts.
19 MR. BOIES: We will continue to do
20 that.

Notice how evasive Gates is — to the point of trying to attack the interrogator himself (signs of Hubris).

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