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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."
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Microsoft Wins WordPerfect Antitrust Battle With Novell

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  • by Zemran ( 3101 ) on Tuesday July 17, 2012 @06:30AM (#40671341) Homepage Journal

    ... that Win 95 is now safe to use?

  • 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 Anonymous Coward

    Who cares? Windows nor any other OS.. (remember the whole cocoa/carbon debacle with OSX?) gives any guarantee that APIs will never be deprecated.

    • by jd2112 ( 1535857 ) on Tuesday July 17, 2012 @08:48AM (#40672493)

      Who cares? Windows nor any other OS.. (remember the whole cocoa/carbon debacle with OSX?) gives any guarantee that APIs will never be deprecated.

      Remember the saying "DOS isn't done until Lotus won't run"?

      • by drsmithy ( 35869 )

        Remember the saying "DOS isn't done until Lotus won't run"?

        Yes. No foundation in either reality or rationality.

        • 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.

      • Didn't NT 4.0 SP6 cause problems with Lotus Notes too? (fixed with SP6a if I remember)

      • Remember the saying "DOS isn't done until Lotus won't run"?

        The one that Lotus guys themselves said was BS? Yes, I do [proudlyserving.com].

        If you really want to bring something up, start with AARD code - at least that actually shipped (in a beta version of Windows).

    • by Anonymous Coward

      They removed APIs after promoting them for use by clients. At the same time they internally did not use them.

      Then, just before the release of the system, they withdrew them leaving the clients out in the cold.

      This would be similar to your boss promising a raise, in writing, that you would get if you met or exceeded your deadlines. Then dropped the project you were working on, dropped your bonus, and laid you off.

      Was that fair dealing?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Their take on the verdict comes off as biased, bitter in parts, and sarcastic in parts. Do they claim to be balanced, or are they partisan?

    • 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

      • Gavron wrote :-

        It may not be relevant to much nowadays, seeing as Windows 95, Wordperfect, etc. are all obsolete irrelevant things

        Errr, that's a strange way of looking at it. I am with you most of the way, but the very reason that WordPerfect is now an "obsolete irrelevant thing" is that it was ousted by Microsoft, and their dirty tricks (rather than actual merit), which is what this case is about, were at least partly responsible for that. Otherwise WordPerfect might still be in general use today. Therefore the events of 15[?] years ago very much affect what we do today.

        Actually, WordPerfect is relevant to me, a

        • by Anonymous Coward

          libreoffice --headless -convert-to odf fileToConvert.wp -outdir .


          Google is your friend.


      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        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 origi

  • 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]


  • 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 Anonymous Coward

      Well, Microsoft has won over Novell/Wordperfect ages ago, now Novell is just trying to get whatever they can. The lawsuit of course isn't over. However, I don't see any "war" left to fight in this one. It's more like the war has been long over and this is a left over skirmish that stubbornly refuses to go away. Hope Novell can keep this up until they get some court to acknowledge the damage done to them, but I don't see what difference it would make for the rest of us. Microsoft will continue to use similar

    • 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.

      • Spoken by a truly clueless imbecile....so by your wrecking Microsoft should give up on the mobile device market since that keep up with the release cycle....
        • by mcgrew ( 92797 ) *

          Spoken by a truly clueless imbecile....so by your wrecking Microsoft should give up on the mobile device market since that keep up with the release cycle....

          An illiterate calling someone an imbicile... thanks for the chuckle.

          FYI, I believe the word you malaproped should have been "reckoning." And sorry for verbing that noun...

      • I disagree. If the final ruling goes against Microsoft it could set an ugly precedent that an OS must forever remain backward compatible to whatever version some developer used in its earliest version. App developers could sue Apple over iOS and MacOS changes. Web developers would be suing Oracle over Java changes, Adobe over Flash versioning, Linux developers suing one another over every change.... legal chaos.
        • If the final ruling goes against Microsoft it could set an ugly precedent that an OS must forever remain backward compatible to whatever version some developer used in its earliest version.

          Not necessarily. If the change is well-documented, then it is up to the developer to adapt to the change. The question here is that Novell alleged Microsoft made undocumented changes that broke the WordPerfect codebase. Now, this would be difficult to argue in the case of GNU/Linux since the "open" code of the kernel, etc

          • I don't think the complaint is valid. I think vendors of software should be legally responsible for the software features they advertise and little else

            Is there any real evidence that they sabotaged Novell's programs? The judge is saying that didn't happen.

            So short of a conspiracy to conceal changes in the API from Novell for the purpose of making their product incompatible with Novell's apps, what's wrong? Does a software company have to keep every old API feature the same so everthing is backward compa

  • ... in which the theme of the movie "Liar Liar" gets applied to Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer in real life, and in a courtroom they are forced to be completely forthcoming about the backroom politics and decisions went into such situations.

    One can only dream.
  • ... Sometimes Microsoft is damned if they do and damned if they don't. But then again, they have been damned inconsistent with their behavior.

    On one hand, they may wish to deprecate parts of the OS. On the other, they may wish to maintain compatibility with some applications. And the fact that they maintain mutiple versions of the same APIs for different behaviors of different applications says they will, at times, do strange things to keep things running in a compatible way.

    On the other hand, it seems s

    • It's not really depreciating something if during a product beta process, you create an API, then remove it before that product is released. There was no released product that had that API in it, and there should be no released products that depend on it.

  • by Megane ( 129182 ) on Tuesday July 17, 2012 @09:13AM (#40672743) Homepage
    I can remember back in the day with other people using WP6 for Windows how they would tell it to print and it would get confused about which text to put where on the page. I'm sure that was all Microsoft's fault, right? Or how the serious users of WP for DOS would use the show codes mode all the time, which doesn't go very well with WYSIWYG editing. Some of WP6's problems were entirely WP's fault.
  • by JustAnotherIdiot ( 1980292 ) on Tuesday July 17, 2012 @10:16AM (#40673363)
    As someone who's used word perfect, it phasing out isn't exactly a huge loss for the world...
    The only thing i liked better about them was the desktop icon. The reason MS Word won in the end, especially, was because it had freaking pinball. [eeggs.com]
    • Re:Uh... wrong! (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      As someone who used WordPerfect in the days *BEFORE* it had Icons because it ran in DOS, that version (5.2) still could kick ass over ANY WYSIWYG Word Processor for most tasks. I'd still use it *TODAY* if it only ran on XP-7, had printer support, and I could get install disks. (Not to mention that it would be so lightning fast it isn't funny.) Yes, I miss it mightily (not the current Corel offering.)

  • Just asking what this would mean if Novell would win this. Would this mean that the close gardens that stop people from selling what ever app they want to dream up? Will the restrictions of following guidelines have to be removed (at least from MS stores). Since if we take this to the extreme: Win RT doesn't allow x86 (except for some internal MS items) so would this mean MS would have to allow anyone to those APIs since they apparently did port the x86 stuff to RT? Would this mean the Apple only APIs that
  • If you haven't read it, Almost Perfect [wordplace.com] is a good (free) book about the rise and fall of WordPerfect from the guy that ran the company for quite a while.
  • ...matter, which is one of the main reasons I continue to look at slashdot. Thanks for all insights provided.

    In my opinion and limited but significant knowledge, killing an application in such a way is exactly (a) the power a company like MS has with their proprietary code base and (b) perfectly consistent with that I perceive to be their business model.

A committee takes root and grows, it flowers, wilts and dies, scattering the seed from which other committees will bloom. -- Parkinson