07.12.12

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Novell’s Case Shows Antitrust Violations by Microsoft

Posted in Antitrust, Microsoft, Novell at 5:07 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Bloody

Summary: Groklaw’s ongoing coverage of the WordPerfect case, showing abuses by Microsoft

THE court case of old Novell against Microsoft continued last month, so Pamela Jones caught up with it. “I’ve now read through all 261 pages of the transcript of the June 7, 2012 hearing,” she writes.

“This is the antitrust case Microsoft is trying to get tossed out on a motion for judgment as a matter of law, after an 8-week jury trial that ended with mistrial. It was reported by the jurors to be 11 to 1 for Novell, with one holdout juror. That was as close as Microsoft would like to get to a jury trial on this WordPerfect litigation ever again, so it filed its renewed motion, asking the judge to let it win without having to face a second jury.”

In a later article Jones pulls an article from almost 20 years ago. She writes: “One theme of Microsoft’s lawyers in the Novell v. Microsoft antitrust litigation over WordPerfect has been that if what Microsoft did by undocumenting the APIs in Windows 95 was so terrible for Novell, why didn’t it complain at the time? And, Microsoft also argued at the most recent hearing in June, why was it that only middle management at Novell was involved?

“It turns out that even before Novell bought WordPerfect, both Novell and WordPerfect, among others, had complained to the FTC, and later to the Department of Justice, complaining specifically about undocumented calls, among other dirty tricks on Microsoft’s part.”
      –Pamela Jones
“I found a November 1, 1993 article in American Lawyer by Stuart Taylor, Jr., “What to Do With the Microsoft Monster” that gives a very clear picture of the context of the events in this litigation. I think it helps answer those questions, at least contextually, as well as some questions the judge articulated at that same hearing.

“It turns out that even before Novell bought WordPerfect, both Novell and WordPerfect, among others, had complained to the FTC, and later to the Department of Justice, complaining specifically about undocumented calls, among other dirty tricks on Microsoft’s part.”

To this date, Microsoft uses such tricks to penalise competitors on Windows. This, among other reasons, is why developers oughtn’t spend time developing for Windows. Despite its age, this case is important because it helps shed light on the criminal side of Microsoft — a side that many PR agents work hard to conceal.

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