Novell's WordPerfect Antitrust Lawsuit Against Microsoft Over Windows 95 Dismissed (Yes, This Is A 2012 Post)

from the justice-is-slow dept

Last year we noted just how odd it was that a Novell antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft over Windows 95 was still going on, but it really was. However, it may finally be over. After the jury deadlocked in December, the court has dismissed the lawsuit, claiming that Novell failed to show sufficient evidence of antitrust violations by Microsoft. But have no fear, fans of 20 years ago: Novell has promised to appeal. All I can say to that is, wait, Novell still exists?

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Companies: microsoft, novell

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Comments on “Novell's WordPerfect Antitrust Lawsuit Against Microsoft Over Windows 95 Dismissed (Yes, This Is A 2012 Post)”

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TtfnJohn (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

No, everyone has kissed and made up now since MS put their C# stuff in an open source license that’s actually recognized by everyone but the GNU extremists who insist on calling Linux GNU-Linux or some such nonsense.

As GNU hasn’t got their kernel a quarter done yet I don’t think they’re in any position to lay any claim on Linux as possibly being theirs. Just as Linus Torvalds who is heartily sick of it. And as he’s the owner of the Linux trade mark he’s sent off the manditory letter to GNU to ask them to stop it to protect the mark but hasn’t gone flying into the courts.

Maybe because he isn’t an American and sees a pot of gold at the other end of the lawsuit rainbow. 🙂

TtfnJohn (profile) says:

Re: Because Tomorrow is Another Day

Let’s not get too snarky here. In the early days of the all the lawsuits flying about in the SCO stupidity it was Novell who stood pretty much alone until IBM decided to join in, or SCO got stupid enough to add IBM to the endless list of Linux users, producers they’d got.

You might just want to look a the history of all of this and better analysis than I, or most, could give you have a look here.

PJ isn’t often wrong about the things surrounding cases even if her predictions aren’t 100%. They’re somewhere in the 80% range which is a whole lot better than either you or I could do.

Unless, of course, you’re a SCO/Microsoft fanboi and you’re still as mad as Microsoft is that their attack dog SCO spent all that money of theirs and still managed to lose. And lose badly at that.

At a guess, I’d say Novell will probably do very well on appeal. As they should.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Because Tomorrow is Another Day

In the early days of the all the lawsuits flying about in the SCO stupidity it was Novell who stood pretty much alone until IBM decided to join in

That’s a bit revisionist. The SCO Group filed its lawsuit against IBM (originally in Utah state court) in March 2003.

The SCO Group later filed its lawsuit against Novell in January 2004.

You know where to look to find the original court filings.

Now if you want to talk about the behind-the-scenes stuff that went on in fall 2002. That is, the stuff we didn’t find out until it came out court later… well, The SCO Group (actually still Caldera at that point), their CEO, Mr McBride originally wanted Novell to help them out with their IBM shakedown. Novell resisted.

Anonymous Coward says:

One thing the article failed to mention is that the previous hung jury was split 11-1 against Microsoft. Also, the judge in this case has behaved in a pattern indicating possible Microsoft bias from the start of this trial.

Finally, Novell will appeal this, and this is the second time this judge has tried to dismiss this lawsuit. The judge got overruled on appeal the first time.

Mr. Applegate says:

Re: I'm sure there's a reasoning here...

The firm I work for still uses Novell, eDirectory (which was around before AD and is more versatile), Groupwise (in place of Exchnage (which is much less expensive and more stable). Novell is now runs on linux.

True, Novell doesn’t have market share and is on the decline, due to many bad decisions, but they still have a decent product line and are much less expensive than Microsoft software.

TtfnJohn (profile) says:

Re: Re: I'm sure there's a reasoning here...

One dirty little secret is that a lot of companies who can’t or don’t trust MS servers (a good thing to do for a number of reasons). If they’re backroom is run and controlled on Linux servers they have native tools that can read and write Active Directory so that Windows servers further down the server food chain simply accept is as active directory.

As you say Netware runs natively on Linux as well so the dirty little secret which isn’t so secret, is that Windows servers down the line just accept that what they’re getting is coming from Exchange, a major dogs breakfast, or from Active Directory or what.

The end users can’t tell the difference either.

velox says:

Re: I'm sure there's a reasoning here...

Let’s not overlook that this lawsuit is about Wordperfect, not NetWare.
For those who are unfamiliar, here is a little history: The lawsuit pertains to the fact that Microsoft made last second changes to Windows 95 just before its release. The consequence was a delay of months before Wordperfect was usable on Win95. Novell alleges this was an intentional strategy to dislodge Wordperfect from its perch as the number 1 selling word processor at the time. Microsoft of course claims there was no strategy involved, but rather the engineers coding Wordperfect were simply inept. In the aftermath of this disastrously slow transition of Wordperfect from DOS to Windows, Novell sold Wordperfect to Corel who has owned it ever since.

Wally (profile) says:

Re: Re: I'm sure there's a reasoning here...

Microsoft made a sudden change in Windows 95 before its release to the public (say a potentially dangerous flaw), corrected it, and it caused Novell’s WordPerfect to have a compatibility issue. All other software companies had absolutely no problem with this sudden change.

Now, either WordPerfect had an exploit in it because of the old code, or they really did only block Novell’s Word Perfect from Windows 95. Which of those sound more believable?

Honestly I think it was Novell whining that the sudden change came along. Never mind whatever potentially fatal flaw that would have effected millions of consumers, Microsoft “did it on purpose”.

Anonymous Coward says:

finally dismissed... really?

Mike, the lawsuit might be “Late” but if you actually do follow the case, you would see a lot of the reasons why this should not be decided for Microsoft.

The deadlocked Jury was deadlocked 11-1 in favor of Novell. That doesn’t quite sound like a “victory” for Microsoft. And it wasn’t even hung on the point whether Microsoft is guilty.

This judges decision has also once before been overturned by an appeals court. The chances for an appeal going through are rightly good.

Sad Mac says:

Re: finally dismissed... really?

“The deadlocked Jury was deadlocked 11-1 in favor of Novell. That doesn’t quite sound like a “victory” for Microsoft. And it wasn’t even hung on the point whether Microsoft is guilty.”

Those are the reports given by Novell to the press. It was actually 12 to 1 in favor of Microsoft.

Now let me explain why it’s considdered a mis-trial: A jury decision in an antitrust situation in the US must be Unanimous. Even if it was what Novell told reporters (11-1) in their favor, there would still be a deadlock. Now since 3 days of deliberation has occurred (which is the MAXIMUM ammount of time for deliberation by law as the jury gets most of its information and facts from testimony), the judge has the right to make his own decision. This isn’t a murder case so the judge can override the jury vote unless it is unanimous.

Mark Gisleson (profile) says:

What a farce

Microsoft notoriously embedded code in Windows (and, for Mac users, in Word) that made your computer crash if you tried to use WordPerfect.

I was running a resume service and, for conversion purposes, tried to install WordStar and WordPerfect on my computer numerous times. You could not launch those problems if MS Word was open. Period.

For this alone Microsoft’s corporate charter should have been pulled, yet all these years later they’re still beating up their victim in court.

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