The steady flow of streaming rhetoric

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Competition is a wonderful thing (ask anyone at Microsoft), but some of the recent verbal exchanges between RealNetworks and Microsoft give a new meaning to the word "spin."

On May 11, RealNetworks put out a press release that pulled a quote from Microsoft's response to the Department of Justice's final judgment in the antitrust case. In the response, Microsoft said that RealNetworks is "the clear leader in Internet Streaming Software." RealNetworks pulled out the quote and trumpeted it in a release titled "RealNetworks and Microsoft agree: RealNetworks is 'The Clear Leader in Internet Streaming Software.'"

A quote from a RealNetworks executive in the release seemed intent on twisting the knife. "It's notable that Microsoft acknowledges our leadership in a legal filing, which, unlike Microsoft's press releases, is a representation to the federal court and must be accurate," said Senior Vice President and General Counsel Kelly Jo MacArthur. "RealNetworks remains committed to continued market leadership, no matter how many antitrust laws Microsoft breaks or how many companies Microsoft is split into."

Ouch!

Microsoft and others who work closely with the company have done a bit of spinning as well-although nothing quite as public as writing a press release based on court filings.-K.K.

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