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Quick Mention: Novell's WordPerfect Lawsuit Against Microsoft Resurfaces

"Pearly Gates and Em-Ballmer One promises you heaven and the other prepares you for the grave"

--Ray Noorda, Novell

It was rather surprising to find this in Bloomberg. A quick look at the datestamp and content suggests that it's breaking news.

WordPerfect, a once-popular software program, is making something of a comeback -- this time as Exhibit A in Novell Inc.'s multibillion-dollar antitrust suit against Microsoft Corp.

The lawsuit is a byproduct of the U.S. government's landmark case against Microsoft that was settled more than six years ago after the world's biggest software maker was declared an illegal monopolist. A handful of other private suits against Microsoft still await resolution, and no claim is bigger than Novell's.

If the development is significant, Shane and I are likely to cover and explore this more closely. It remains rather shocking that Novell chose to become a vassal to a company that betrayed it so many times in the past. To use the words of Steve Stites (just under a day ago):

Such an arrangement would leave Novell with a pile of money and a dying Netware business. Obviously Novell would have to develop a new business strategy. I would like to suggest that Novell has already found one possibility. Microsoft's ability to do software development has died. Microsoft contracted with Novell to produce open source software written to include Microsoft's patents, software interfaces, data formats, and network interfaces. Novell is executing this contract with a proficiency in developing software that Microsoft cannot hope to match. I suggest that Novell develop a business in contracting with Microsoft to develop Microsoft proprietary software and Microsoft can lay off their bloated, ineffective software development bureaucracy.

It is very unfortunate to see Novell ending up this way.

Jim Allchin on Novell

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