Follow us:

Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

November 3, 2006 at 12:26 PM

Ballmer, Gates called to testify in Iowa

An Iowa judge presiding over a class-action antitrust suit against Microsoft wants to hear directly from Microsoft’s top two leaders, Chairman Bill Gates and CEO Steve Ballmer.

A jury hearing the suit seeking $450 million for Iowans who bought Microsoft software is set to begin Nov. 13.

From The Associated Press:

Polk County District Judge Scott Rosenberg said the request by plaintiffs’ attorney Roxanne Conlin to have Gates and Ballmer appear in person was not unreasonable.

“The requested witnesses are in important decision-making positions for the defendant,” he wrote in an opinion dated Thursday. “The jury should be allowed to view them live during both parties’ case presentation to observe their demeanor and help the jury to assess their credibility. This method of questioning by both parties will make the witnesses’ interrogation and presentation effective for the ascertainment of the truth.”

[Microsoft attorney Rich] Wallis said the two executives had planned on appearing at the trial and the motion seeking a judge’s order was unnecessary.

“She was going to have the opportunity to ask any questions she wanted of Bill and Steve when they came to Iowa as part of our case,” Wallis said. “I think she wanted to call them first in her case and asked the judge permission to do so.”

Update: A Microsoft spokesman said the last time Gates testified in person was in 2002 during the remedy phase of the big antitrust case. Ballmer has never taken the stand in an antitrust case. The spokesman also noted that in the Iowa case, the two executives were already on Microsoft’s witness list, submitted Sept. 22. The judge’s order is about when during the trial they will appear.

Here’s coverage of Gates’ performance on the stand in 2002. See direct excerpts here.

Comments | More in Microsoft

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►