In their suit, Novell accuses Microsoft of deliberately misleading competing software vendors to reduce the competition for software on computers running Windows 95 and then pressuring OEMs to bundle Microsoft Office, rather than WordPerfect, with new computers.
Specifically, they say Microsoft conspired to kill the WordPerfect productivity software Novell had purchased for nearly a billion dollars. Less than than 2 years after buying it, Novell sold WordPerfect to Corel in 1996 for just over $100 million.
In his opening statement yesterday, Novell lawyer Jeff Johnson cited a number of Microsoft emails about Windows 95 development, including some from Gates, and alleged, "Microsoft seriously crippled Novell's ability to produce a competitive product in a timely manner."
He said he plans to ask Gates for an explanation of those development decisions, which Novell claims resulted in the loss of several hundred million dollars on WordPerfect and its companion spreadsheet software, Quattro Pro.
But Microsoft Attorney David Tulchin painted a very different picture. "These products were in decline all the way along," he said, "and Novell made it more so with its decisions."
Written by: Rich Fiscus @ 19 Oct 2011 2:12