Microsoft to ask for dismissal of case against Novell

The case between Microsoft and Novell over WordPerfect isn't over yet but Microsoft certainly wants to end it ASAP. Infoworld reports that Microsoft intends to file papers that will ask the judge in the lawsuit, J. Frederick Motz, to dismiss the case entirely. The story says that Microsoft wil file papers to support its motion on January 13. Microsoft's position will be that Novell failed to meet the legal standard on some elements in the case.

Earlier this year a 12 member jury heard the case between Microsoft and Novell in Salt Lake City. Novell originally filed the lawsuit seven years ago, claiming that Microsoft deliberately delayed the release of Windows 95 in order "to suppress the sales of WordPerfect and Novell's related office productivity applications." Microsoft claimed that it was unable to support WordPerfect in Windows 95 due to a software issue that could have crashed the operating system.

On Friday, the jury said it was unable to come up with a verdict and the judge ordered a mistrial. As it turned out, 11 members of the jury were ready to rule in Novell's favor but one member disagreed, saying he felt that Novell had not proven its case against Microsoft. Novell is reportedly planning to ask for a new trial.

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Twitter's lawyer warns SOPA could punish all users

Next Story

Microsoft announces 12 days of Xbox Live Arcade sales


Commenting is disabled on this article.

What I'd personally like to see happen is for them to get a crappy old PC, install Windows 95 on it, and repeat whatever scenario each party is saying happened.. i.e. does it cause Win 95 to crash?

I remember reading a review of WordPerfect 6 for Windows in a tech magazine when it was released in late 1994. I was stunned that it was released at about the same time the latest Chicago beta was released, which was the first Chicago beta that was branded as Windows 95...I wondered, why is Novell releasing such an expensive product for Windows 3.x so close to the release of Win95?

The product wasn't very fact, the reviewer specifically stated that if you had already purchased a copy, but you had not yet broken the shrinkwrap, to take it back for a refund. It was crippled by bugs, wasn't even worthy of Beta status.

V6 was released just a few months after Novell had purchased WordPerfect. I do not know if Novell had anything to do with the quality of V6, but I would guess that their first order of business was to ship it ASAP to make some money back off their purchase, and they blindly punted a ton of bugs to achieve that goal.

Mid-way thru 1995, I met a guy who had just quit WordPerfect to relocate to Redmond: he said it was a bloodbath, and most of the key people responsible for WordPerfect had abandoned the new Novell ship.

Novell claims MS is responsible for the lack of a Win95 version until it was too late. I have a feeling that it was WordPerfect's fault for continuing to develop for a 16-bit, soon-to-be EOL version of Windows, which took resources away from working on a 32-bit version. And Novell's sudden lack of resources led to development delay for a 32-bit version, resulting in a release 9 months after Win95 was released.

And then a meager 8 months after that, Novell obviously declared themselves as defeated, and sold WordPerfect to Corel.


"Novell failed to meet the legal standard on some elements in the case."

Mrmm, interesting, would love to know what elements they are referring to.