Microsoft Shoots Self in Foot

Survey questions were carefully crafted so the only reasonable answers would favor Microsoft. Justice department shows internal memo from Gates demanding just such a result.

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Microsoft's tame economist, Richard Schmalensee based part of his anti-trust testimony on an "independent" survey showing developers considered integrating the Internet Explorer Web browser into Windows to be "a good thing".

Unfortunately for him, the Justice Department has a Feb 14, 1998 memo from Bill Gates demanding just such a survey and specifying the results he wanted to see (the survey came up with 85% in favor even though Gates had demanded 90%). The DOJ also has a copy of a Feb 23, 1998 email from Ann Redmond of Microsoft's research department stating the survey was "not entirely unbiased" and cautioning that the press must never be allowed to see the actual question posed to the developers. Reported in InfoWorld Electric, 15 JAN 1999.

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