Bill Gates concludes testimony in Novell trial

Bill Gates' two days in court are now over. Microsoft's co-founder and chairman has concluded his testimony in Salt Lake City in the current trial where former WordPerfect owner Novell claims that Microsoft conspired to stop the development of WordPerfect in favor of Microsoft' own Word product.

The Salt Lake City Tribune reports that Gates gave 11 total hours of testimony in the trial, which began in mid-October and is scheduled to end in about three weeks. Gates said after leaving the court room on Tuesday, "I’m glad I had a chance to clarify things."

Gates and Microsoft's attorneys have claimed that Microsoft feared that Novell's WordPerfect might crash Windows 95 and that was the reason Microsoft didn't want to include the word processor software in its new PC operating system. The Washington Post reports that during the trial on Tuesday, Gates said that WordPerfect was a "bulky, slow, buggy product" at that time and that Microsoft's own Word program was "far superior".

After Gates' testimony on Tuesday, Microsoft's attorney David Tulchin praised him, saying, "We think we’re way ahead and that Bill Gates did a great job."

The trial will take a Thanksgiving break and will resume Monday with Microsoft continuing to defend its position. The judge in the case, U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz, said he hopes to give the case over to the jury the week before Christmas.

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The only issues I had with WP...as with Harvard Graphics (Now Powerpoint) and Number Cruncher (Lotus 1-2-3..now Excel). Is that almost all of the features were based on function keys. But we are talking about 1990 when all that came about.

And for Bill Gates to say that WordPerfect was buggy and crashable for Windows 95...he sure didn't have a problem in the late 80's with re-designing his windows software to be compatable with newly invented apple macintosh equipment.

Dude, old WP versions came with those hilarious keyboard overlays for the function row that were like a cheat sheet for commands. I miss the heck out of those things! Hah.

Gates said that WordPerfect was a "bulky, slow, buggy product"

Pot, Kettle

Obviously not any more, but back then

11 hours of testimony in two days? Ugh. I'm trying to imagine being engaged for that long in such a short period of time. In a court room. Surrounded by people ignorant of technology--and having to take them seriously.

This is why the law needs to be less abstract when it comes to what a business can and can't do. When interpreting the law requires an in-depth understanding of a sector of the software industry, stupid conclusions are made, and bad precedents are set.

Equally frustrating is the way, depending on who's being sued, some people will cheer just because they hate the company. The substance becomes irrelevant. Right and wrong become irrelevant. It's all about giving somebody a "taste of their own medicine" or "what's coming to them". Such bizarre brand animosity gives back nothing by hypocrisy, where the same behavior that's reprehensible from one party gets a "go get 'em!" when it's a party you support.

It was creepy enough watching everyone pity poor Gabe after Steam was hacked when we all just spent a year watching the outrage of users over every other company that was hacked (Sony, et al). I can't help but wonder about the psychology of it all.

You base your argument on "people being ignorant on technology" on what, exactly?

You realise this has little to do with technology but Microsoft leveraging their market share at the time to force competition off the market, which they've been doing since day one and still do today. They've changed in absolutely no way, they've just hired better PR.

Yeah okay, why don't you go sit for just five minutes reading a transcript of the old anti-trust hearings from the 90s, because it sounds like you're basing your opinion on far more hot air than you're accusing me of blowing.


Didn't this happen as well with Adobe and Apple with Carbon 64-Bit?

I think it is possible for both sides to have good intentions; making a good OS and making full featured software. It still stings though.

Bare in mind I am not sure Windows was the monopoly it is now pre-Win95.

Also Corel has smothered so many programs in the past. They are probably the main reason that Adobe has faced no serious Photoshop competitor for years. They were selling at one point Corel PhotoPaint, (Jasc) Paintshop Pro and (Ulead) PhotoImpact.

The only packages that have survived well are Draw and Painter.

I remember using WordPerfect a long, long time ago in elementary school. I always wondered what happened to it, though I can't say that I miss it.

spacer said,
I remember using WordPerfect a long, long time ago in elementary school. I always wondered what happened to it, though I can't say that I miss it.

Wordperfect was very popular with a group of users who appreciated its macro support and, if I remember correctly, an interesting mark-up view of documents (it's been a while).

WP 5.1 for DOS was my first x86 word processor, so I have a soft spot for the product. But they dropped the ball in every way possible when it came to Windows, from 16-bit onward. Considering their horrible handling of Windows 3.x, I have a hard time taking anyone seriously who says Microsoft held them back.

Fortunately, I don't have a soft spot for Novell, Corel, or whoever else has owned WordPerfect over the years. I liked WP when it was owned by WP. I relied on Lotus (Ami/Wordpro) to tie me over in Windows until my first version of Office.

Frankly, I miss Lotus more than WP.

*goes to find his copy of Dreaming in Code*