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Tuesday, 23 November, 1999, 14:20 GMT
The trial of Microsoft: Key moments


The trial of Microsoft lasted for months - but the outcome will potentially shape the future of consumer computing, communications and the internet.

Click on the stories below to read BBC News Online's extensive coverage of the trial's key moments.



  • September 22: Microsoft knows "no limits"
    The US government winds up its case by saying that Microsoft was a company that didn't know when to stop but the company hits back alleging "red herrings, mis-statements and omissions".

  • June 8: IBM executive tells of Microsoft tactics
    A former IBM executive gives a first-hand account of how his company learned the hard way it could not do without the software superpower's operating system.

  • June 1: Microsoft 'bribed' companies
    Microsoft used its monpoly to give away the Internet Explorer browser in an attempt to force competitors from the market, a senior academic tells the trial.

  • April 28: Microsoft deposes competitors
    The software giant calls in witnesses from America Online and Sun Microsystems in an effort to prove that Microsoft faces a tough battle for survival against a determined opposition.

  • March 24: Microsoft's settlement offer
    Microsoft approaches some of the 19 states co-suing the company with a settlement offer.

  • February 12: Lemon Dog vs Microsoft
    How one Scottish software company launched a bold challenge to the largest computer company in the world - and won a settlement.

  • January 12: Microsoft begins its defence
    Microsoft's rebuttal of the US government's allegations begins with a closed hearing to allow testimony from Dell and Compaq, neither of which want to reveal how much they pay Bill Gates' corporation for Windows.

  • January 12: Microsoft's 12 angry men
    After nearly three months and hundreds of megabytes of testimony, the BBC assesses what the 12 government witnesses said.

  • November 10: Microsoft 'tried to influence Intel'
    Microsoft tried to persuade the world's largest computer chip manufacturer, Intel, to use a Microsoft-developed version of the Java programming language, an Intel executive tells the court.

  • November 4: Gates denies undermining Sun
    Bill Gates tells prosecutors in video-taped evidence to the trial that he did not discuss undermining a rival.

  • October 28: Microsoft defends 'visionary' Gates
    Microsoft opens its defence case and accuses the US government of a personal attack against Bill Gates - and adds that it is the consumer that has already chosen the Windows operating system.

  • October 21: Microsoft turns defence into attack
    Lawyers for the software corporation allege that rival Netscape attempted to reduce competition in the Internet browser market - rather than Microsoft as charged by the US government.

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