Microsoft-Novell trial goes to the jury

After nearly two months, the Salt Lake City jury in the case between Microsoft and Novel is now in deliberations. The Salt Lake Tribune reports that the jury was given instructions today by the judge in the case, U.S. District Judge Frederick Motz, before going into the jury room to decide the fate of this long running dispute between the two companies.

At issue is a lawsuit filed by Novell several years ago that claimed Microsoft deliberately delayed the release of Windows 95 in order "to suppress the sales of WordPerfect and Novell's related office productivity applications." Even though Novell sold off WordPerfect and its Quattro Pro application to Corel back in 1996, Novell is still asking the court to award them between $500 million to $1.2 billion in its lawsuit against Microsoft.

The lawsuit finally went to trial in mid-October. In November, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates himself testified in the case for two days. Gates and Microsoft's attorneys have claimed that Microsoft feared that Novell's WordPerfect might crash Windows 95.

If the jury does in fact find in favor of Novell in this case, Judge Motz could impose an even bigger penalty on Microsoft than the one Novell had asked for which could go as high as $3 billion.

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16 Comments

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Based on what I have read about this case and based on my spidey-armchair-quarterback-senses, I am pretty sure Novell is going to get their asses handed to them or they are not going to get exactly what they wanted.

So I guess the idea here is that Microsoft delayed Windows 95 until MS Word was ready to release? Because otherwise I don't see how it would be relevant when they released it.
If that was the case, I wonder how much Novell really lost? 500 Million sounds steep. I wonder what their yearly net off of Wordperfect was and if it was anywhere near that for 1995,

panacea said,
WordPerfect was the best, until Word over took it.

but back in those days it was the best!


Wordperfect is still very popular with lawyers, several of my lawyer customers prefer it and won't use anything else. But yeah, back in the day, I loved WP to Word.

I absolutely HATE Novell's products... Especially Netware and related products. Complete garbage and bloatware. That being said, I actually like Wordperfect. Too bad they don't own them anymore.

whitebread said,
I absolutely HATE Novell's products... Especially Netware and related products. Complete garbage and bloatware. That being said, I actually like Wordperfect. Too bad they don't own them anymore.

I'm sorry but that is an idiotic comment. Bloated? Garbage? You do know that Active Directory was based on eDirectory. eDirectory has more features than AD, and ZENworks is arguably the best management software around. Netware had much lower requirements and overhead than Microsoft. Microsoft just had a much better marketing department.

farmeunit said,

I'm sorry but that is an idiotic comment. Bloated? Garbage? You do know that Active Directory was based on eDirectory. eDirectory has more features than AD, and ZENworks is arguably the best management software around. Netware had much lower requirements and overhead than Microsoft. Microsoft just had a much better marketing department.

I thought Microsoft sucks at marketing.

Gates and Microsoft's attorneys have claimed that Microsoft feared that Novell's WordPerfect might crash Windows 95.

Considering Windows95 crashed on it's own every now and then I don't see how that would be such a big issue.

ichi said,

Considering Windows95 crashed on it's own every now and then I don't see how that would be such a big issue.

Would you have preferred that it crashed more?

ichi said,

Considering Windows95 crashed on it's own every now and then I don't see how that would be such a big issue.

Nobody uses anything but Windows and Office, Microsoft should just lock every other vendor out so they can take 100% of the market.

c3ntury said,
Novell should be made bankrupt for such a stupid claim.

This lawsuit came out when Novell was relevant and Microsoft was overall engaging in anti-trust behavior. Not saying this was the case, I haven't seen the evidence to make an informed decision on the matter personally.

I'm sure that Microsoft isn't happy this went to the jury. You never know what a jury may decide, especially regarding technical matters. Regardless of how Microsoft used to run their business (anticompetitive as it was...) I think this entire claim is a little ridiculous.