Bill Gates Takes the Stand

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For the first time in the four year-old Microsoft trials, Bill Gates took the stand himself to defend the computer giant that he built. Although the federal anti-trust lawsuit ended last year, several states have sued Microsoft, hoping to force the company to create an operating system that would be friendlier to the software of rival companies.

In a Washington courthouse today, Gates testified that Microsoft's Windows operating systems were not designed to quell competition, but actually makes it easier for consumers to use other companies' programs. Gates said a ruling against his company would do "great damage to Microsoft, other companies that build upon Microsoft's products, and the businesses and consumers that use PC software."

The latest Microsoft trial hasn't gotten the headlines that the original one did. But that was at the height of the Dot-Com boom and when the economy was at its peak. This hour, we examine the role and influence of Microsoft today — and the effect that consumers and the economy will face if Microsoft loses this latest case.


Jonathan Krim, reporter for The Washington Post

David Bank, author of "Breaking Windows: How Bill Gates Fumbled the Future of Microsoft"

This program aired on April 22, 2002.


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