Microsoft plans to call its top official, Bill Gates, to the stand in the Microsoft Nine case.

Gates, Microsoft’s chairman and chief software architect, will be the eighth witness to testify on behalf of the software giant as the remedy hearing – involving Microsoft, nine states, and the District of Columbia – enters its sixth week of testimony.

The states want Microsoft to remove its middleware products from its operating system and sell a stripped-down version of Windows without applications such as Internet Explorer and MSN Instant Messenger built in. Microsoft argued that the states haven’t proven that consumers would benefit from a stripped-down version of Windows.

Settle old scores Gates is expected to testify about “the potential harm to customers and the industry, posed by the non-settling states’ remedy proposals”, the company said in a statement Friday. He is also expected to deliver his take on the evolution of the PC industry and Microsoft’s involvement in that evolution.

Video-footage of the chairman’s deposition was played in court during the liability portion of the trial in October 1998. Gates was widely criticized for acting defensively and arguing with government lawyers in that video.