1994 called and wants Bill Gates to explain an email in court

Bill Gates is a household name when it comes to computers in the home and in 1994 sent an email which he now has to defend in court. The complaint, as broken down by Mary-Jo Foley, is that Novell's products were sabotaged by Microsoft in favor of its own products.

The basis of the complaint is that Microsoft did not give Novell the required information to optimize its Word Perfect and Quattro Pro line of products. The basis for Novell's defense is an email that Bill Gates sent way back in 1994, approximately 17 years ago, which may be older than some of the people reading this posting.

While we are all for protecting a company against anticompetitive actions, this complaint seems to have dragged on for a ridiculous amount of time. Not to mention that Novell does not even own some of the software for which they are now in court; Word Perfect was sold to Corel 12 years ago.

So, to defend Microsoft in the case, Bill Gates is taking to the stand to defend the company. The Salt Lake Tribune states:

Novell had purchased WordPerfect and other software programs in 1994 in order to compete head-to-head with Microsoft. It claims Gates’ decision to withdraw the previously promoted features of Windows 95 was meant to try to give Microsoft time to develop its own programs such as Word and the spreadsheet Excel and, ultimately, to help it maintain its monopoly in computer operating systems.

Which brings us up to the current date with Bill Gates taking the stand to defend such actions. And what does Novell want in return for these alleged practices 17 years ago for software that it no longer owns? A billion dollars. 

Gates is expected to take the stand this week. 

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