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Novell and Microsoft E-mails: More Blasts from the Past

As you may recall, the Comes vs Microsoft lawsuit never truly ended. This class-action case, which took place in Iowa, reached a settlement last year. The terms of the agreements were never disclosed and the Web site which contained court exhibits was immediately shut down. Reminds you of anything? It just might.

In May 2004, Judge J. Frederick Motz ordered Microsoft to investigate Burst.com's claim that, in 2000, Allchin ordered Microsoft employees to destroy email after 30 days and not to archive their email, suggesting that this deletion policy might be an effort to eliminate material that would later be damaging in court. This case was settled out of court in March 2005, with Microsoft agreeing to pay Burst.com $60 million for nonexclusive rights to Burst.com's media player software.


Why is Microsoft so afraid of E-mail retention? Read on.

The heap of antitrust exhibits remains largely unexplored. However, it is available in torrent form and it has even earned a home in a few mirrors. I took some time to fetch a couple of interesting E-mails which involve Novell and Microsoft. Judge for yourselves, based on Exhibit PX02839 [PDF].

[Microsoft:] "Company [Novell] will adhere to the following user interface guidelines: If the user interface is HTML based, Internet Explorer 4.0 must be set as the default browser... If the application is written in Java, the Microsoft Virtual Machine for Java will be the default VM, and AFC will be used for UI elements."


For context, Microsoft sought to extend Java the 'Microsoft way'. It also viciously fought Netscape, as the following video shows. Let it just remind you.



Finally, here is another nugget of information, from Exhibit PX02350 [PDF].

[Novell:] "It should be noted that these bugs, for the most part, are not problems with our software (the Win95 bugs are problems we addressed with Microsoft which they refused to fix)."


Microsoft refusing to fix bugs and leaving the burden for others to cope with? It is almost as severe as technical sabotage, which can be demonstrated using some other E-mails and memos (even Novell was a victim). It does make you wonder, does it not? Perhaps Novell should rethink its relationship with Microsoft.

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