The states seeking tougher remedies against Microsoft yesterday asked a federal court to make Internet Explorer software code open-source as a way of denying the company the benefits of its conduct.

In court, Brendan Sullivan, the attorney representing the nine states, told judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly that tough remedies are needed to protect new technologies from a company that left “nothing to chance” in attacking competitors.

Microsoft lawyer Dan Webb also spoke, labelling the states’ proposals as “extraordinarily harsh and unfair”. The states’ remedies go far beyond the scope of the hearing, he said, and if applied, they would force the company to pull Windows off the market.

A high price to pay Sullivan also told the court that Microsoft should pay a price for its actions, and called on the judge to give developers complete access to Internet Explorer's programming code.

The browser, “is the fruit of Microsoft's statutory violations – it is the fruit, there is no clearer fruit, and it should be denied them,” said Sullivan.

Testimony ended with Sun Microsystems vice president Richard Green, who heads the company’s Java division, on the witness stand. Green, a witness for the state, is defending a remedy in the state’s proposal calling for the distribution of Sun's version of Java with Windows.