MS Weadock Notesgreenspun.com : LUSENET : MS-DOJ : One Thread
Microsoft: Glenn Weadock from Bryan Hancock
The following is a summary of Microsoft's themes in its cross-examination of Glenn Weadock. The DOJ notes posted by Eric Liu provide a good overview of the government's testimony and serve as a good starting point for this analysis of the testimony from the Microsoft perspective. Mr. Peppeman, attorney for Microsoft, advances three basic themes during cross-examination and re-cross:
1. IE is part of the Windows 98 operating system. 2. Technical integration of IE provides some user benefits. 3. Mr. Weadock's methodology and credentials are questionable.
1. IE IS PART OF THE WINDOWS 98 OPERATING SYSTEM
IE IS CONSISTENT WITH THE FEATURES OF AN OPERATING SYSTEM
Microsoft successfully compels Mr. Weadock to testify that the features of operating systems have changed over time and "reasonable people can disagree" over weather certain features are a part of the operating system. Microsoft presents the addition of TCP/IP and advanced memory management as examples of OS functionality which were not originally included in Windows but were added later.
Mr. Weadock protested when Microsoft attempted to have him draw an analogy between browsers and other functionality which had been built into Windows. Microsoft had Mr. Weadock grudgingly agree that web-browsers "in their simplest form" retrieve data from other computers on a network and present it to the user, and this was consistent with the functionality included in operating systems. However, Mr. Weadock attempted to distinguish web-browsers from other OS functions based on the added features browsers provided
In the redirect, the government attempts to distinguish web-browsers from other OS functionality by comparing OS functionality to "plumbing." Web-browsers, according to the government's line of questioning, are not "plumbing" because a browser is "an application that users interact with to do productive work." In the redirect, Mr. Weadock does not address how the shell functionality of the Windows OS differs in kind from a web-browser user interface.
PEOPLE OUTSIDE OF MS HAVE CATEGORIZED IE AS PART OF OS
Mr. Pepperman attacked Mr. Weadock's direct testimony that "No one outside of the Microsoft organization has ever described a web-browser to me as operating system software." Mr. Pepperman presented evidence that Netscape characterized IE as an OS upgrade in a marketing document entitled "Netscape Communicator and the Competition."
In re-cross, Mr. Pepperman entered testimony from the deposition of Mr. Vesey, the Windows Browser Product Manager at Boeing to demonstrate at IE is more OS-like than application-like in some respects. "Many applications do make changes in the Windows systems subdirectory. Fairly few of them make the kind of modifications that Internet Explorer makes. They would be more on the order of an operating system upgrade."
IE IS TECHNICALLY INTEGRATED WITH WINDOWS 98
Mr. Weadock insists that the "commingling" of IE and Windows 98 code in DLLs is not necessary and the IE subroutines could be removed by Microsoft. Under cross-examination, Mr. Weadock testified that it is not possible for IE to be removed from Windows 98 once installed because of the integration of code at the DLL level. End-users do not have the ability to split-out the subroutines. Even users who "remove" IE remove only a small portion of the code used by the user to launch IE directly.
Through his testimony, Mr. Weadock is not challenging that IE IS integrated with Windows 98. He is challenging whether or not Microsoft should have integrated IE. The following exchange captures Mr. Weadock's views:
Mr. Pepperman: And it's also true, isn't it sir, that the file Explore.exe cannot be removed from Windows 98 without disabling features of Windows 98 that users typically require?
Mr. Weadock: That's my point. Microsoft designed it that way.
Mr. Pepperman: In fact, isn't it your understanding, sir, that if the file Explore.exe were removed the Windows 98 user interface would break?
Mr. Weadock: That is at the same time true and irrelevant.
This may be irrelevant to Mr. Weadock's complaint about Microsoft's integrated design; however, it is not irrelevant to the DOJ complaint and prayer for relief which requested for the option of de-coupling of Windows 98 and IE at the OEM level.
During cross-examination and recross, Mr. Weadock repeatedly argues that IE is too integrated with Windows 98, and that level of integration harms certain consumers. The level of integration, and in particular, the inability to disable IE entirely, provided a major concern. Mr. Weadock asserts that Novell's "loose bundling" of a web-browser with their OS is superior to the fuller integration achieved by MS in Windows 98. Mr. Weadock values the increased ability for end-users to choose the browser they want to use, no matter how integrated the browser becomes with the OS.
2. TECHNICAL INTEGRATION OF IE PROVIDES BENEFITS
RATIONALE FOR THE "PERVASIVE" NATURE OF INTEGRATION
According to Mr. Weadock, there are at least 28 ways of calling IE from Windows 98. Even for users who have chosen another default browser, IE will still be chosen by the OS for certain tasks such as reading HTML help files and obtaining Windows Updates.
Mr. Pepperman successfully showed that most of these tasks require the use of ActiveX, which is included with IE, but requires a plug-in for Netscape use. Furthermore, Microsoft's use of Active X for help and other functions is consistent with Netscape's requirement to use a Netscape browser to use Netscape help.
BENEFITS FOR IE USERS
Mr. Weadock emphasized that for users who have chosen not to standardize on IE, the integration of IE into Windows 98 does not provide benefits, and indeed entails some potentially substantial costs. (The costs arise from the higher system resource requirements to run IE and the costs of maintaining training and support for multiple browsers). However, as Mr. Weadock states in cross-examination "Nowhere in my testimony do I say that there are no organizations anywhere that find the integration of Windows 98 and IE appealing. Certainly, there are those that do. My point is that there are some that dont and they don't have an easy choice to get rid of it."
For users of IE, Mr. Pepperman successfully showed that integration does provide some technical benefits. The sharing of code between IE and Windows 98 will result the saving of memory for those who wish to use IE. Furthermore, over 100 ISVs depend on IE-related code to function. (Even a competing browser requires IE DLLs to operate.)
3. ATTACK ON MR. WEADOCK'S METHODOLOGY AND CREDENTIALS
COMPANIES INTERVIEWED ARE NOT REPRESENTATIVE
Mr. Pepperman advances the point that companies interviewed by Mr. Weadock and DOJ (or by DOJ alone) were not reflective of general corporate opinion and the pool from which the companies were picked to be interviewed was biased against Microsoft. The organizations interviewed had either: a) voluntarily expressed interest in the investigation to the DOJ b) been selected by Netscape c) had requested the removal of the IE icon from the desktop as identified by Dell or d) a random sampling of 18 Fortune 500 companies.
Mr. Weadock emphasized that these companies provide "illustrations," but that the bulk of his testimony is "based on nearly two decades of experience in the business." Mr. Weadock stated that by using the corporations as illustrations of his beliefs that he was "not building anything here that is intended to be a scientifically valid or statistically valid cross-section of American corporate opinion."
By successfully separating Mr. Weadock's opinion and "illustrations" from a more representative corporate sentiment, Microsoft opened the door for presenting the benefits of combining IE with Windows 98 for corporate users.
ATTACK ON MR. WEADOCK'S CREDENTIALS
Microsoft effectively challenged Mr. Weadock's position as one of the government's three technical witnesses at the beginning of the cross-examination. Mr. Weadock testified that he was not an expert in OS software design, had never provided consulting services or lectured on OS software design or development, and had never been published in a peer-review journal or publication on Windows 98. Furthermore, Mr. Weadock testified that he has no knowledge of the programming language C, had never seen the source code for Windows 95 or Windows 98, and even if he had seen it, could not understand it because it was written in C.
As discussed above, Microsoft made significant gains by having Mr. Weadock admit that IE is "integrated" with Windows 98 to the extent that OEMs and end-users cannot remove completely remove IE without "breaking" windows. These gains may have been mitigated by Microsoft's earlier attacks on Mr. Weadock's technical credentials. I believe the testimony below captures the overall effectiveness of the attacks.
Mr. Pepperman: WELL, YOU'RE AWARE, AREN'T YOU, SIR, THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE ALLEGED IN ITS COMPLAINT IN THIS ACTION THAT BUT FOR MICROSOFT'S OEM LICENSE AGREEMENTS, IT WOULD BE, QUOTE, TECHNICALLY FEASIBLE AND PRACTICAL FOR OEM'S TO REMOVE INTERNET EXPLORER FROM WINDOWS 98?
Mr. Weadock: I NEVER READ THE COMPLAINT.
Mr. Pepperman: WELL, YOU WOULD AGREE THAT EVEN YOU, ONE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA'S THREE TECHNICAL EXPERTS, COULD NOT FIND A WAY OF DELETING ALL MEANS OF ACCESS TO, AND ALL VISIBLE MANIFESTATIONS OF, INTERNET EXPLORER IN WINDOWS 98, MUCH LESS REMOVE ALL THE INTERNET EXPLORER CODE FROM THE OPERATING SYSTEM?
Mr. Weadock: DID YOU JUST DESCRIBE ME AS ONE OF AMERICA'S THREE TECHNICAL EXPERTS?
Mr. Pepperman: THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA'S THREE TECHNICAL EXPERTS.
Mr. Weadock; GEE, I'M NOT COMFORTABLE WITH THAT CHARACTERIZATION.
Mr. Pepperman: GLENN E. WEADOCK OF GOLDEN, COLORADO.
Mr. Weadock: NO. I THINK THERE ARE LOTS OF PEOPLE THAT I THINK WE ARE GOING TO SEE FROM SOME OF THE OTHER WITNESSES THAT THE GOVERNMENT PLANS TO CALL, PEOPLE THAT HAVE A MUCH GREATER BACKGROUND IN PROGRAMMING.
Mr. Pepperman: BUT YOU, SIR, COULD NOT?
Mr. Weadock: RIGHT. AND AS YOU POINTED OUT THIS MORNING, I'M NOT A C-PLUS-PLUS PROGRAMMER.
-- Anonymous, November 28, 1998