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Putting on the spin

Here's a blow-by-blow account of the war of words between Microsoft and RealNetworks.

During the past 48 hours, Microsoft and RealNetworks have been playing ping-pong over alleged flaws in streaming software. Here's the blow-by-blow account:

  • RealNetworks CEO Rob Glaser demonstrates at a Senate hearing yesterday how Microsoft's Windows Media Player disables a version of RealNetworks' software.

  • In his testimony, Glaser added he tried to address the problem with Microsoft but received the cold shoulder from CEO Bill Gates. "I suggest visiting the National Gallery and Smithsonian," while in Washington, Glaser said Gates told him in an email.

  • Microsoft counters that the demonstration is misleading because RealNetworks used the most recent beta version of the product and the software giant had not yet developed support for it.

  • Redmond releases an affidavit suggesting that Glaser meant to use testimony as leverage to settle a licensing dispute with Microsoft. "Glaser said that he was prepared to 'negotiate all night if that's what it takes' to come to terms with Microsoft," according to the affidavit. Glaser denies this.

  • Microsoft contends that after a day of testing RealNetworks' demo, the company has found that the problem is caused by a bug in the beta version of RealNetworks' new G2 software.

  • Glaser holds a press conference today flanked by the president of the Software Publishers Association. He alleges that Microsoft's product also disables similar streaming products from rivals Xing Technology and Digital Bitcasting. Technical details are not provided, however.