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Wednesday, 04 May 2011 12:44

Novell wins appeal against Microsoft

Written by Nick Farell


It can continue with a long-running anti-trust case
Software maker Novell has been allowed to proceed with a long-running antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft after an appeals court reversed a lower court's summary judgement in favor of Redmond.

Novell claimed that its operating system products and several of its software applications were unfairly squeezed out of the market by Microsoft in the 1990s. In 1996 Novell assigning rights to sue Microsoft to a separate company called Caldera.  Caldera receiving a $280 million settlement four years later.

However in 2004, Novell sued Microsoft in its own right, claiming its WordPerfect word processing application was the victim of unfair competition by Microsoft. Last year, Microsoft lawyers convinced a Judge that Novell's claims were subject to the 1996 agreement with Caldera, which relinquished the right to sue Microsoft. The appeals court reversed that judgement saying that the previous agreement with Caldera covered a different set of products.

Nick Farell

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+4 #1 hoohoo 2011-05-04 15:27
Two things:

1. Winning in 2011, suing in 2004, over WP is rather too little too late, given M$ took over the office suite market in 1995.

2. Isn't Novell already broken up and sold off? So how can it win a law suit?

Oh well, RIP Novell, Netware was a brilliant file & print server.
 
 
-4 #2 JEskandari 2011-05-04 19:20
well I wonder how wordperfect become a victim of Microsoft unfair competition
Microsoft word never was part of windows
 
 
+5 #3 hoohoo 2011-05-04 20:05
Quoting JEskandari:
well I wonder how wordperfect become a victim of Microsoft unfair competition
Microsoft word never was part of windows


IIRC there were at least three things. MS: (1) was paying & threatening computer supply stores to give pride of place to Office and bury WP on back shelves; (2) refused to disclose APIs that let 3rd party S/W integrate into Win95/NT4 shell (like MS shrouded APIs that Netscape needed to integrate Navigator tightly as IE did); (3) kept changing the internals of the MS Office file formats so other suites could not read/write MS Office documents.

The basic problem was that MS, by owning the desktop OS market, used that ownership to prevent competition in application S/W market.
 
 
+1 #4 hoohoo 2011-05-04 20:08
Quoting hoohoo:
Quoting JEskandari:
well I wonder how wordperfect become a victim of Microsoft unfair competition
Microsoft word never was part of windows


IIRC there were...


Also I think MS was making package offers of Win+Office at prices below what was considered reasonable competition to, say, Win+WP - I recall claims of market manipulation about this in the mid/late 1990's.

This again was exploiting desktop OS domination to 'unfairly' advantage it's application S/W.
 

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