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Digital Employees Accuse Microsoft of Dirty Dealings

Five current and former employees of Digital Equipment Corp. have accused Microsoft Corp. of persuading former Digital CEO Robert Palmer to discontinue work on a prototype network computer, according to an article published Thursday in The New York Times.

The prototype, code-named Shark, was being developed in conjunction with Oracle Corp., the article said.

According to the Times article, Microsoft CEO Bill Gates allegedly threatened to cancel an "earlier deal for Microsoft to develop a version of its industrial-strength Windows NT operating system for Digital's powerful new processor" if the Shark project wasn't cancelled.

When questioned by the Times, a Microsoft spokesman denied the allegations. Palmer declined to comment. – Michele Rosen, Staff Reporter/New York Correspondent

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Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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