Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
Microsoft Novell The Courts

Microsoft Wins WordPerfect Antitrust Battle With Novell 124

New submitter Psychotic_Wrath writes "After a long, drawn-out legal battle and a hung jury, a federal judge has dismissed Novell's antitrust case against Microsoft. The case involved allegations from Novell that Microsoft removed code from its Windows 95 operating system which created the need for further development to WordPerfect. Novell says this delayed the release of their product, giving Microsoft Word an unfair advantage. Groklaw has a detailed write-up on the decision."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Microsoft Wins WordPerfect Antitrust Battle With Novell

Comments Filter:
  • Actually, No (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 17, 2012 @06:33AM (#40671363)

    The headline was written by a moron who can't read. Novell announced they will appeal, so Microsoft only won this round, with a judge who was overturned on appeal last time.

  • by gavron ( 1300111 ) on Tuesday July 17, 2012 @06:50AM (#40671499)

    OP is right.

    Judge Motz (who flew out of his district to run this court) ignored an 11:1 "hung jury"
    and voted to say no jury could find against Microsoft. He's already once been handed
    his case back on appeal because he's too pro-Microsoft.

    There is no excuse to allow a JMOL (Judgment as a Matter of Law) -- implying no
    reasonable jury would find for Microsoft -- when the jury was 11 to 1 in favor of
    finding Microsoft guilty. This too will be returned to trial by the appeals court.

    There's no excuse for the article to be on slashdot. It's entire "summary" is biased
    and incorrect. The editors who approved it have no knowledge of facts. The
    moderators who modded down the parent are clearly part of Microsoft's encouragement
    of its staff to "read" slashdot (troll on articles) in the hopes they can mod down
    disparaging articles.

    Judge Motz is biased; he has flown from outside his district to judge this case; he
    has been overruled on appeal ON THIS CASE before. It will happen again. All but
    that last comment are facts.

    See http://www.groklaw.net./ [www.groklaw.net]


  • by gavron ( 1300111 ) on Tuesday July 17, 2012 @07:00AM (#40671531)

    Groklaw provides the rulings in PDF and text form. Whether they have a bias or not,
    the rulings are shown as is.

    In the instant case the jury was eleven to one against Microsoft. Judge Motz -- who
    flew in to handle this case from outside his district (!?!) -- ruled afteward that no reasonable
    jury would have found for Novell and against Microsoft.

    He has already been overturned on appeal once. He will be overturned again.
    Microsoft shils notwithstanding (they pay people to say Microsoft-does-no-evil on /.
    and other places), they will be found guilty.

    It may not be relevant to much nowadays, seeing as Windows 95, Wordperfect, etc.
    are all obsolete irrelevant things, but it's part of the legal process. Just like we don't
    excuse rape because "Well it happened to you ten years ago" the same is true of
    anticompetitive unlawful actions.

    Sorry, Microsoft Fanbois, time to man up and quit modding everything you don't like
    down. The truth is out there, and it will be set free. The Internet views censorship
    as damage and routes around it (--Gilmore). The same is true for biased modding
    and shil posting.

    Tucson AZ US

  • Appeals (Score:5, Informative)

    by Lorien_the_first_one ( 1178397 ) on Tuesday July 17, 2012 @07:04AM (#40671567)

    No, they did not win yet. Sure, they got a nice ruling from a judge with obvious animus towards Novell. The judge handed a ruling to Microsoft, nothing more. This same judge has already been overruled by the appellate courts and that is likely to happen again in this case. We'll see. But Microsoft has not the war, they've only won a battle.

  • by Antique Geekmeister ( 740220 ) on Tuesday July 17, 2012 @07:39AM (#40671853)

    While PJ, the original creator of Groklaw, has stepped aside and let someone else run it, they're still very good about providing the actual court documents and testimony from relevant court rooms. Even a casual examinatiion of the court documents reveals some astounding rulings in Microsoft's favor by this particular judge, including rulings that have already been overturned on appeal.

    A judge who's already been overturned on appeal would seem to have every reason to be cautious and _not_ make other strange ruliings that would provide grounds for appeal, at least if that judge is honest and does not with to waste people's time. And this ruling does seem very strange.

  • by hkmwbz ( 531650 ) on Tuesday July 17, 2012 @07:47AM (#40671941) Journal
    The comment you are replying to didn't even mention Apple or Linux, so what are you talking about?
  • by postbigbang ( 761081 ) on Tuesday July 17, 2012 @07:48AM (#40671945)

    You may be entitled to your opinions, but you're not entitled to your facts. Fanboi-ism aside, a jury voted 11-1 in favor of Novell's claims, a verdict that was overturned by a judge.

    The same judge had ruled in similar ways for Microsoft, and had been overturned on appeal.

    What part of the facts are you unclear about?

  • Re:Appeals (Score:5, Informative)

    by Overzeetop ( 214511 ) on Tuesday July 17, 2012 @08:44AM (#40672445) Journal

    No, Microsoft won the war. This is but a side skirmish in a town which has lost all relevance. Whether Novell wins or loses is irrelevant because WordPerfect is dead, killed by the horrific mis-management which let them start with the post popular and most powerful consumer word processor on the planet and drive is so far into the ground that most /.ers with a 7 digit UID will wonder if that was the word processor that was bundled with Visicalc, or that ran on one of those computers that used tubes.

    The bigger problem is that technology moves so many orders of magnitude faster than traditional brick and mortar processes that the laws and court system can't keep pace in its current incarnation. Patents lasting 28 years? Copyrights lasting 120 years? Common delay tactics and court backlog taking over a decade to resolve? Useless in an industry with a 6-24 month product lifecycle.

  • by man_of_mr_e ( 217855 ) on Tuesday July 17, 2012 @08:51AM (#40672531)

    If by "every single time" you mean "occasionally", sure. I've tried to pout out factual errors in their analysis in the past, but they refuse to approve any posts that disagree with them.

    Your problem is that you mistaken overwhelming agreement on their blog with "always right", but that's only the case because they censor anyone that disagrees with them.

  • by whoever57 ( 658626 ) on Tuesday July 17, 2012 @11:37AM (#40674369) Journal

    The facts are, the judge has a history of ruling AGAINST Microsoft, but you wouldn't know that from the groklaw article. That is how they show bias.

    Perhaps he had such a history 10 years ago, but in this case, he has consistently ruled for MS (and been overruled on appeal). What the motivation for that is, I don't know.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 17, 2012 @11:58AM (#40674595)

    Sorry for posting AC (though the content of this message will narrow me down to about 8 people). I worked on Word Perfect, although it was at Corel so well after the events in question. However, I have a good idea of how the software was put together and I have personally talked with several of the original authors. Whether or not Microsoft played these games, I personally don't believe that the failure of WP in the market place was really related to it.

    WP 6 was a complete rewrite of WP 5 which was originally coded in assembly. If you ask the original authors of WP 6 it was a shining triumph. But many of the customers didn't agree. It arguably had a lot of bugs in it. It was dramatically slower. It didn't support all the key bindings of the original. In fact, I think it was in WP 9 (or even 10... I can't remember) when they finally added the "classic" key bindings back. It's a bit like taking vi, putting a gui on it and removing all the key bindings. Basically it made the software useless for all the original owners.

    On top of that, the internal formatter had some serious problems. "Reveal Codes" is the killer feature for WP but the formatter would move the bloody tags around willy-nilly and corrupt documents. This is especially true when importing documents and because cut-and-paste was implemented through the RTF import/export filters, cutting and pasting would routinely corrupt documents. This had nothing to do with Microsft.

    To give you a good idea of the seriousness of some of the problems, the Word 95 export filter, which should have exported a doc file, actually exported an RTF file and gave it the extension .doc.

    I have no idea what MS was doing. It's very possible that they were doing evil things. But by the time I was working on the code (many years later), there were still so many fundamental problems with the code base that it doesn't matter what Microsoft was doing. The internal WP stuff that customer's needed didn't work. It stayed broken for a very long time until new programmers came in (I suspect quite a lot of it has been fixed now, but I don't work there any more and I don't used the product). That's why WP failed, IMHO.

  • by advocate_one ( 662832 ) on Tuesday July 17, 2012 @01:04PM (#40675401)
    Actually, the jury was 12 to 0 in favour of Microsoft being guilty, however they were hung over the size of the damages... this is what's so absolutely stupid about the entire case... Microsoft lost, yet won...
  • by Locutus ( 9039 ) on Tuesday July 17, 2012 @04:15PM (#40677825)
    might be wrong. I recall word getting out that IBM had OS/2 running 32bit Windows 95 apps but the next beta release stopped that. Microsoft for some "unknown" reason decided to change their resource compiler such that an applications resources(menus, icons, etc ) were stored in the upper memory of the virtual address space while the rest continued to be loaded in the lower space.

    You can't say that given all of the documentation released in public court cases there is any doubt Microsoft would pull stunts like last minute code changes just to make sure a competitor in the application side had to adjust for the code change, retest their software, and then send it to manufacturing which all means a big delay in release to the public. All the while, Microsoft's applications people knew well in advance of this and had their software applications read when the OS was released. Naw, that would never happen.


The intelligence of any discussion diminishes with the square of the number of participants. -- Adam Walinsky