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Submission + - Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson, presided over Microsoft antitrust trial, has died (

McGruber writes: The NY Times has the news that federal judge Thomas Penfield Jackson, who ruled in 2000 that Microsoft was a predatory monopoly and must be split in half, has died. He was 76 years old.

Judge Jackson presided over the trial of the Microsoft Corporation on charges of antitrust violations in 1998-99 — one of history’s largest antitrust cases. Mindful that the government’s antitrust offensive against I.B.M. lasted 13 years and its action against AT& T involved a million documents, he limited each side to 12 witnesses and forced lawyers to submit testimony in writing. The main court proceedings took 76 trial days.

A technological novice who wrote his opinions in longhand and used his computer mainly to e-mail jokes, Judge Jackson refuted Microsoft’s assertion that it was impossible to remove the company’s Internet Explorer Web browser from its operating system by doing it himself.

When a Microsoft lawyer complained that too many excerpts from Bill Gates’s videotaped deposition — liberally punctuated with the phrase “I don’t remember” — were shown in the courtroom, Judge Jackson said, “I think the problem is with your witness, not the way his testimony is being presented.”

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Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson, presided over Microsoft antitrust trial, has died

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Nobody said computers were going to be polite.