Microsoft mulled Apple partnership, iPod rival in 2003


Apple did not immediately return phone calls and e-mails seeking comment.

This is the second noteworthy e-mail from Allchin to surface in the antitrust since the trial began in December. In a 2004 message he sent to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and Chairman Bill Gates, Allchin -- who is retiring after the launch of Windows Vista -- complained that Microsoft had "lost sight" of customers' needs and that he if he wasn't working for Microsoft.

Allchin that he was "ranting" and being "purposefully dramatic" in his e-mail.