Summary: Bill Gates’ crimes come back to haunt him, but he refuses to admit what things he previously wrote can show rather clearly — that he decided to break the competitors’ products rather than compete
I have decided that we should not publish these extensions. We should wait until we have a way to do a high level of integration that will be harder for the likes of Notes, Wordperfect to achieve, and which will give Office a real advantage. [...] Having the Office team really think through the information intensive scenarios, and be a demanding client of systems is absolutely critical to our future success. We can’t compete with Lotus and Wordperfect/Novell without this.
Now, look at the exhibits shared by Groklaw and some of the reports from there:
We had a reporter there at the Novell v. Microsoft antitrust trial on Friday, and I gather it was quite a day. As you probably saw from the Salt Lake Tribune article we put in News Picks yesterday, the judge, U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz, had set aside five hours Friday to consider a Microsoft motion on whether to stop the trial now, on the alleged ground that Novell had failed to present a case. That kind of motion is typical after the plaintiff finishes presenting its case in most civil trials. What was different was that the judge took it seriously enough to even listen to extended oral argument. He does seem to have a Microsoft tilt, frankly.
By the way, Bill Gates is expected to testify on Monday. The trial is scheduled to continue on Monday, but the judge took the arguments on the Microsoft motion under advisement, and he could still rule to stop the trial if he wants to. And from all I’ve seen, he wants to. But if that happens, it won’t be before Gates testifies. It seems Novell found a crucial bit of evidence that the judge was not expecting.
Here is another one from Groklaw:
The media reports that Bill Gates’ testimony was that they decided to make the API change because of worry about breakage, but Novell responds to that and the other excuses amply.
Novell even points out that the judge is bound by the appeals court. They did rule that this case had to go to the jury, after all. It’s the law of the case. Novell seems to be setting things up so the record is complete and clear for an appeal, should one prove necessary.
The Microsoft boosters cannot quite spin Gates out of this one. Yes, Microsoft needed to shoot Novell’s horse, as Pamela Jones once put it. Techrights‘ Ryan quotes an article as saying: “He [Gates] testified later that Microsoft had to dump a technical feature that would have supported WordPerfect because he feared it would crash the operating system.”
Based on the exhibits we have, this is nonsense. The statement from this article is a lie. To quote other bits:
Microsoft’s Windows 95 rollout presented the most challenges in the company’s history, leading to several last-minute changes to technical features that would no longer support a rival software maker’s word processor, Bill Gates testified Monday in a $1 billion antitrust lawsuit filed by the creator of WordPerfect.
As Homer put it in USENET, “Microsoft’s Godfather [is] back in court”
Quoting his message through The Register: “Gates: Novell are sore losers, Word trounced WordPerfect Microsoft supremo testifies at antitrust hearing
“Gates told a court in Salt Lake City, Utah, on Monday that his Redmond minions “worked super-hard” on Word. He added: “It was a ground-breaking piece of work, and it was very well received when we got it done.”"
Homer’s response is that “they worked “super-hard” … by poaching Charles Simonyi and Richard Brodie from Xerox, to “rewrite” Xerox Bravo, the first GUI word processor, then rebranded it as Microsoft’s “innovation”.
“Then they worked “super-hard” to break cross-platform software, by releasing deliberately broken APIs, whilst using undocumented APIs for their own software, just like they did with Novell, Netscape, Real Networks and anyone else who dared to support anything but just Windows.
“Both the DOJ and the EU Commission have already exposed Microsoft’s criminal business methods in great detail, producing a swath of court evidence, most of which originates from within Microsoft, so why does this even need to go to trial again? It should be an open and shut case.
“Here’s a good summary
Here is another article about it:
Attorneys for Novell are expected to cross-examine Microsoft chairman Bill Gates Monday in a federal courthouse in Utah, where jurors are hearing Novell’s claim that the software giant used anticompetitive means to quash Word competitor WordPerfect and Excel rival Quattro Pro.
U.S. district court judge J. Frederick Motz, who is presiding over the case in Salt Lake City, may also rule Monday on Microsoft’s request, submitted Friday, to dismiss the case.
Novell sued Microsoft in 2004, claiming the software maker “deliberately targeted and destroyed” its WordPerfect word processor and Quattro spreadsheet franchises because they were compatible with non-Windows operating systems. Novell also charged that Microsoft banished WordPerfect from the Windows 95 rollout in an effort to drive the application into obscurity.