Microsoft-Novell Antitrust Case Continues

Lora Bentley

Considering the government's antitrust litigation against Microsoft dragged on for a decade, I'm not surprised to see Novell's antitrust case against the software juggernaut still in the headlines. Of course, Novell's no stranger to long-running litigation, either.


USA Today reported that Microsoft Chairman and former CEO Bill Gates was on the stand Monday for a second time in the case. He testified that he dropped support for Novell's WordPerfect word processing program in Windows 95 because Microsoft engineers were afraid "it would crash the system." They decided not to include WordPerfect in Windows 95 because "Novell couldn't deliver [a compatible version] in time for rollout," the story says.


In other words, Microsoft argues the drop in WordPerfect's market share following the release of Windows 95 would not have happened if Novell had provided a compatible version of its word processing program in a timely manner. Novell's attorneys argued that Microsoft encouraged Novell to work on a compatible version only to renege months before the new operating system was released.


Though the judge acknowledged Novell's claims were "thin," the court denied Microsoft's motion to dismiss the case.

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