Gates testifies in Novell antitrust case

Nov. 21, 2011 at 7:29 PM
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SALT LAKE CITY, Nov. 21 (UPI) -- Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates testified in Utah Monday rival Novell failed to produce a word processing program in time for the launch of Windows 95.

Novell was working on its WordPerfect program at the time, but Gates testified Microsoft Corp.'s Word program was a better word processing program with the largest market share among word processing programs in 1994, Seattlepi.com reported.

Novell is suing Microsoft, saying Microsoft made changes in Windows 95 to make WordPerfect incompatible with it. Novell says Microsoft was threatened by how good the program was.

Microsoft was not obligated to help Novell develop a word processing program that could be used by Windows 95, Novell lawyer Jeff Johnson admitted. But Microsoft lured Novell in before making changes that would make WordPerfect incompatible with Windows 95, he said.

Novell later sold WordPerfect at a loss of $1.2 billion, the newspaper said.

Johnson said Novell was "stabbed in the back." Gates said the launch of Windows 95 was a challenging period for Microsoft and in their decisions, "we were making trade-offs."

U.S. District Judge Frederick Motz already had suggested Novell would have an uphill battle in court.

"I don't see why I have to give a product to a competitor so he can beat me," Motz said Friday.

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