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Microsoft Wins WordPerfect Antitrust Battle With Novell

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the raise-your-hand-if-you-even-remember-wordperfect dept.

Microsoft 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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Does this mean... (4, Funny)

Zemran (3101) | more than 2 years ago | (#40671341)

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

Re:Does this mean... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40671431)

Yep... no one targets it for virus/trojan/worms anymore.

Re:Does this mean... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40671433)

frosty piss

Re:Does this mean... (1)

hcs_$reboot (1536101) | more than 2 years ago | (#40675361)

Microsoft removed code from its Windows 95 operating system

Probably, just safer...

Actually, No (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

So they removed APIs? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40671407)

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

Re:So they removed APIs? (4, Interesting)

jd2112 (1535857) | more than 2 years ago | (#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"?

Re:So they removed APIs? (0)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 2 years ago | (#40673525)

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

Yes. No foundation in either reality or rationality.

Re:So they removed APIs? (1)

Hamsterdan (815291) | more than 2 years ago | (#40675233)

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

So they removed APIs? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40674381)

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?

Does Groklaw claim to provide balanced analysis? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40671409)

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?

Re:Does Groklaw claim to provide balanced analysis (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40671435)

Considering they are written by an anti-MS writer (PJ) they do have some bias.

Most people on slashdot are very easy to manipulate into believing anything anti-ms through selective quoting of "facts". Thats OK though, nobody thinks Slashdot is anything but a troll-zoo.

Re:Does Groklaw claim to provide balanced analysis (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40672209)

slashdot was crippled by mod changes and asshole users, then mostly finished off by reddit. I dont even bother logging in anymore, I just come to see how the mods are trolling the readers with microsoft posts. they do not disappoint in that capacity :D

Re:Does Groklaw claim to provide balanced analysis (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40672409)

Dittos. I switched to hacker news and reddit for geek news, stuff that matters, and cool links. (That was around the time my account was temporarily banned for over a month) When I come back to slashdot, it's like a stale sample of what I get elsewhere. With much lower quality comments. And, no that's not from the trolls (I find most of them hilarious). Also, reddit has /r/gonewild. Let's be glad /. doesn't!

Re:Does Groklaw claim to provide balanced analysis (0)

bloodhawk (813939) | more than 2 years ago | (#40671479)

Groklaw has been heavily bias for while now. It started off well but has been on the slide for a long time now, it is a shame as the original intent seemed to be unbiased legal opinion.

Re:Does Groklaw claim to provide balanced analysis (4, Insightful)

Eggplant62 (120514) | more than 2 years ago | (#40671615)

Groklaw's original mission was to show that SCO's case against IBM was a load of malarky from the get go, using nothing but the facts and evidence provided in the case by each side's legal briefs. I don't know if that's bias, but Groklaw and PJ have proven over and over that they seem to know both the facts and the law and get it right every single time.

Re:Does Groklaw claim to provide balanced analysis (4, Informative)

man_of_mr_e (217855) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Does Groklaw claim to provide balanced analysis (-1, Troll)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | more than 2 years ago | (#40672607)

Nice job troll. What censors? Read the friggin' articles. Groklaw always posts the court documents. You have the transcripts. Unlike journalists who will interpret for you, like you know, the Supreme Court overturned the Health Care Reform Act.

Re:Does Groklaw claim to provide balanced analysis (1)

man_of_mr_e (217855) | more than 2 years ago | (#40672999)

I didn't say anything about the court documents. I was talking about factual errors they made in their analysis and reporting, from which most of the blog articles are drawn.

You do realize, they report on more than just what courts publish. They also report on actions by the parties, claims made by the parties, random stuff people claim on the net, etc..

And like I said, they refuse to publish almost any comment that doesn't agree with them, making it seem like there is overwhelming agreement with their articles.

Re:Does Groklaw claim to provide balanced analysis (2)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 2 years ago | (#40673401)

Well - everyone who gives a damn at my house agrees with Groklaw. That's pretty overwhelming agreement, I would say.

Re:Does Groklaw claim to provide balanced analysis (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40676015)

And you could live in a tardhome for all we know.

I'm surprised anyone takes Groklaw's analysis seriously after their insane conspiracy theory about "Microsoft is funding Pystar to undermine Apple's EULA and therefore the GPL." I mean what the fuck?!

All the source material posted there is great, but you can outright ignore 90% of the editorial content and be smarter for it.

Re:Does Groklaw claim to provide balanced analysis (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40674037)

Groklaw does more research than anyone, and it's accurate.

You're about on the same level as proclaiming doom and gloom in Google vs Oracle - of which, Groklaw was again correct.

Go back to Florian and lay off the fuckin spin, please.

What factual errors have they made? They don't draw from factual errors - at most all they've ever had are a few typos in spellings as noted by their corrections.

Re:Does Groklaw claim to provide balanced analysis (3, Interesting)

man_of_mr_e (217855) | more than 2 years ago | (#40674201)

Well, how about this. The judge in this case is the very same judge that has ruled against MS in the Java case, and likened MS to kneecapping Tonya Harding.

Yet Groklaw implies that the judge has only ever ruled in favor of MS, and paints him as a MS shill. Why is that? Why doesn't their "research" show that?

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.

Re:Does Groklaw claim to provide balanced analysis (3, Informative)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 2 years ago | (#40674369)

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.

Re:Does Groklaw claim to provide balanced analysis (1)

cHiphead (17854) | more than 2 years ago | (#40674115)

Do you have examples for evidence or just conjecture?

Re:Does Groklaw claim to provide balanced analysis (0)

man_of_mr_e (217855) | more than 2 years ago | (#40674227)

Oh, yes, let me give you links to the comments I made on groklaw that weren't approved.

Do you even think before you write?

Re:Does Groklaw claim to provide balanced analysis (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40672867)

I should like to point out "pout out" should be reserved for beauty contests.

Re:Does Groklaw claim to provide balanced analysis (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40675807)

You, sir, are a liar. Groklaw doesn't
preapprove comments, so there is
no truth in your smear.

Re:Does Groklaw claim to provide balanced analysis (3, Informative)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Does Groklaw claim to provide balanced analysis (4, Interesting)

KingMotley (944240) | more than 2 years ago | (#40674431)

I'm not sure why you think it's strange. You do realize the whole case basically revolves around the "File/Open" dialog, and that WordPerfect didn't want to use that standard one, and because Microsoft (for whatever reason) decided to not give out an API to do some things with it, they decided to write their own instead of using the default one. One middle manager's decision (that wasn't overruled by someone higher up) caused the Office Suite to be delayed by 4-6 months. Although, there is argument whether Quattro would have been ready to go at that time.

Novell's whole argument is that they were delayed in release because they CHOSE to write their own custom File/Open dialog instead of using the default one, and that lead to their demise because of timing? According to them, IF they had chosen to use the default one they would have been able to deliver on schedule. This is just bad management.

Now, the reasons behind why Microsoft stopped that particular API is in question, and their motives may not have been altruistic, but it was a frigging BETA. They explicitly state that they can/may change/remove/add APIs at any stage of the beta. Sorry, but this is a silly lawsuit and should have been thrown out before it even made it this far.

Groklaw provides FACTS. (5, Informative)

gavron (1300111) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Ehud
Tucson AZ US

Re:Groklaw provides FACTS. (0, Troll)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 2 years ago | (#40671859)

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.

Ehud
Tucson AZ US

I'm sure the "Microsoft Fanbois" will stop doing it when the Linux shills and Apple cultists stop it as well - or are you seriously of the opinion that the only fanboyism that goes on here is in favour of Microsoft?

Re:Groklaw provides FACTS. (2, Informative)

hkmwbz (531650) | more than 2 years ago | (#40671941)

The comment you are replying to didn't even mention Apple or Linux, so what are you talking about?

Re:Groklaw provides FACTS. (0, Offtopic)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 2 years ago | (#40672465)

It didn't need to mention them, thats the wonder of having a discussion - you aren't restricted to just the content of the parent post.

Every side has fanboys, especially here on Slashdot. Its fucking obvious - so why just rant about the Microsoft ones?

Re:Groklaw provides FACTS. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40672863)

You sound like a /. fanboy.

Re:Groklaw provides FACTS. (5, Informative)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 2 years ago | (#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:Groklaw provides FACTS. (0, Flamebait)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 2 years ago | (#40672429)

And what do *any* of that have to do with the rant that I replied to? Sure, the jury found 11-1 in favour, but I struggle to find the link between that and ranting about supposed Microsoft fanboyism and shilling with posts and moderations here on Slashdot.

Im not unclear about any of the facts, I am unclear as to how the fuck they support his pathetic, childish rant against Microsoft fanboyism.

Re:Groklaw provides FACTS. (2)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 2 years ago | (#40672645)

Consider a recent unfavorable post I made regarding Microsoft recently. Initially, the post was ground to a -1 Troll. Eventually, it was modded to +5 along with several other replies in the same vein and thread.

The power of fanboyism when an issue regarding Microsoft is posted is enormous. I find no pathos, and an adult response regarding the qualities of Groklaw, and the facts of the matter.

Indeed there are Linux and Apple prejudices here as well. My sense of the Microsoft version is that it has a different musculature behind it. I believe there is active, perhaps sponsored spin-control afoot. There are facts, and there are denials of them, and there are opinions. There are also wingnuts, and people that didn't take their meds lurking around here. The common sadness is the vehement amount of testosterone and bluster that's bandied about as established fact.

Re:Groklaw provides FACTS. (2)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 2 years ago | (#40673447)

Seems obvious to me that the judge is a microsoft fanboi! Relevance is important in these discussions!

Re:Groklaw provides FACTS. (1)

man_of_mr_e (217855) | more than 2 years ago | (#40672571)

You have a strange idea of what a 'verdict' is. Verdicts require unanimous agreement of the jury, 11-1 is as good as 1-11. Only 12-0 or 0-12 count.

Re:Groklaw provides FACTS. (1)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | more than 2 years ago | (#40672623)

Which means they retry the case.

Re:Groklaw provides FACTS. (1)

man_of_mr_e (217855) | more than 2 years ago | (#40673015)

Court cases are expensive, and cost the taxpayers a lot of money. If the next case is likely to result in a hung jury as well, at what point do you stop retrying? It's been 17 years.

Re:Groklaw provides FACTS. (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 2 years ago | (#40673459)

I always thought a unanimous agreement of the jury was only required in a criminal law case.

Oh wait - Microsoft. Yes, criminals.

Re:Groklaw provides FACTS. (1)

ukemike (956477) | more than 2 years ago | (#40674195)

You have a strange idea of what a 'verdict' is. Verdicts require unanimous agreement of the jury, 11-1 is as good as 1-11. Only 12-0 or 0-12 count.

This isn't really true. It is the case in a criminal trial, but in a civil trial there are different rules. I sat on the jury of an employment discrimination case and to reach a verdict on each of about 30 questions we had to find a majority of 9 of 12 either way.

For the judge to rule that "no reasonable jury" could rule for Novell immediately following an 11-1 jury decision for Novell is a bit of a stretch, and a slap in the face of those jurors.

Re:Groklaw provides FACTS. (1)

man_of_mr_e (217855) | more than 2 years ago | (#40674341)

Civil law differs from state to state. Some states require unanimous juries, others do not. Federal procedures seem to require unanimity. Because of the size of the trial, and the amount, my guess is that unanimous decisions are required.

Re:Groklaw provides FACTS. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40674039)

You may be entitled to your opinions, but you're not entitled to your facts.

Have you tried religion?

Re:Groklaw provides FACTS. (0)

mfh (56) | more than 2 years ago | (#40672135)

Wordperfect had their chance. People forget but back then there was a feature war between the two compamies and while Woerperfect was clearly a better product, fewer people used it and the two companies struggled to lock down users by increasing the difficulty for importing files from either competitor into the product of the other competitor.

Wordperfect could have totally supplanted Word if their engineers had abandoned the massive bloat (Word is bloated too), and shifted the company toward minimalism, abandoning 95% of the features with a simple product that does most things you want in a word processor. But they were convinced the public would buy th product with the most features and Word eventually won.

Novell still could make some kinof comeback this way and sell the product for $10 I know millions of peopluld buy it instead of $125 Office student.

Re:Groklaw provides FACTS. (1)

hattig (47930) | more than 2 years ago | (#40672457)

abandoning 95% of the features with a simple product that does most things you want in a word processor

I bet the "5%" of features you use in a word processor are not the exact same set of features that I use, or other people use. Hence why there are more features than you use.

Re:Groklaw provides FACTS. (3, Insightful)

satch89450 (186046) | more than 2 years ago | (#40672473)

Novell still could make some kinof comeback this way and sell the product for $10 I know millions of peopluld buy it instead of $125 Office student.

Are you sure? I've switched from Microsoft Word to LibreOffice (nee OpenOffice) and stopped looking back. And before you say "Linux nerd" I run the package on three platforms: Linux, Macintosh, and Windows. LibreOffice satisfies my needs to do techical documentation for a Fortune 5000 company, and does so without breaking the bank.

And, lest you forget, WordPerfect's "niche" was in law offices. Before GUIs. When you needed sensible keyboard shortcuts to keep your productivity up. Those days are long gone. Everyone has pretty much the same shortcuts, so there is no advantage of one word processor over another on that score.

Novell would need to something really, really interesting and useful to break through the reduced competition.

Re:Groklaw provides FACTS. (1)

aaarrrgggh (9205) | more than 2 years ago | (#40673069)

Eighteen years later and Word (and Libre Office last time I checked) cannot handle the formatting of reports and construction specifications correctly and reliably. The "Reveal Codes" function actually gave you access to all the markup data, so you could easily fix things like headline formatting improperly spanning a page break or footer conflicts.

If Word were still "free" because of licensing issues, WP5.1 would still be worth $5 to me if it ran. If they actually got 6.2(?) to work properly in Windows, $20 would be no sweat. For $50-100, it would be too much to install on every desk.

Re:Groklaw provides FACTS. (2)

hackertourist (2202674) | more than 2 years ago | (#40675219)

The Reveal Codes function seemed great, because in WP you really needed it. Every now and then WP would mess up the formatting codes and you'd need to delve in and fix them manually. Of course you could also use Reveal Codes to make an even bigger mess.

Word is full of half-finished features and kludges (like allowing text formatting to happen outside paragraph/character styles) that can't be fixed by adding a Reveal Codes function.

What Word needs is to be replaced with something like FrameMaker, where some actual thought has gone into making features work consistently and predictably. Not with a throwback to the '80s.

Re:Groklaw provides FACTS. (1)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | more than 2 years ago | (#40672633)

And playing fair and making available the APIs has nothing to do with it....You might want to read alittle something called The United States versus Microsoft.

Re:Groklaw provides FACTS. (0)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 2 years ago | (#40673631)

Wordperfect had their chance. People forget but back then there was a feature war between the two compamies and while Woerperfect was clearly a better product, fewer people used it and the two companies struggled to lock down users by increasing the difficulty for importing files from either competitor into the product of the other competitor.

In actual fact, Wordperfect was the (vast) majority market share holder and Microsoft expended enormous resources modifying their product to make users happy and winning them over. This is why old versions of Word have a "Wordperfect mode" to emulate Wordperfect's shortcut keys and other behaviour (in as much as that is possible).

Wordperfect lost, fair and square. They wasted time creating a Windows product, then wasted time improving the shit one they did release, and by the time they had something decent the horse had bolted.

Re:Groklaw provides FACTS. (1)

IntlHarvester (11985) | more than 2 years ago | (#40675921)

Woerperfect was clearly a better product, fewer people used it

WordPerfect had serious quality problems moving into a GUI environment, and already "lost" by the time Windows 95 came out, with only a 15% marketshare. (per Ars Technica) The legal users who loved it so much were predominantly on the 5.1 DOS version and hadn't purchased a new copy in years.

Also, Novell belatedly bundled in Borland QuattroPro as their spreadsheet software; it was never considered to be in the same league as MS Excel.

Re:Groklaw provides FACTS. (2)

nukenerd (172703) | more than 2 years ago | (#40672423)

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, and where I work we still have many documents, such as technical specifications of plant, that were written in WordPerfect. At home I once wrote a lot of stuff (eg family history) in WordPerfect, and one day I would like to get this back into some other format (ASCII would be safest I now think). I am actually keeping an old PC with Windows 3.1 and Wordperfect for when I get round to the task. I could do without that chore and will never forgive Gates and MS for lumbering me with crap like this by their shady business practices.

Re:Groklaw provides FACTS. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40672529)

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

*yawn*

Google is your friend.

M

Re:Groklaw provides FACTS. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40674269)

Shut up, troll. Everyone knows these conversions mess up all but the most trivial documents. Depending on how bad it is, the converted document can be even less useful than the result of a plain text extraction.

Re:Groklaw provides FACTS. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

RIGHT - Microsoft wins corrupt judge. Appeal next. (5, Informative)

gavron (1300111) | more than 2 years ago | (#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]

Ehud

Re:RIGHT - Microsoft wins corrupt judge. Appeal ne (2)

Eggplant62 (120514) | more than 2 years ago | (#40671561)

Saying a case is won before the appeals are over is like saying a tie hockey game is won before sudden death overtime has finished. Don't be stupid you morons.

Re:RIGHT - Microsoft wins corrupt judge. Appeal ne (2)

Shavano (2541114) | more than 2 years ago | (#40672983)

It damn well should be over. The issues at hand are 17 years stale.

Re:RIGHT - Microsoft wins corrupt judge. Appeal ne (0)

man_of_mr_e (217855) | more than 2 years ago | (#40673085)

How much money should the taxpayers keep spending on this? It's been 17 years. If Novell can't make their case in 17 years, perhaps they should consider that it's just not worth it.

Re:RIGHT - Microsoft wins corrupt judge. Appeal ne (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40671617)

This case is irrelevant.

Windows 95 is history.

Novell is just looking for some sort of revenue stream for its outdated business.

This is also a lesson in that the legal system is too slow for the technology industry. It's 2012 and they're in court over Windows 95 ?!

So it's 2012; what is Novell doing to stay relevant in a handheld computing World?

We all like to bash the movie and music industries for trying to keep their "outdated" business models working. This is no different. We have a mostly dead company going after an old stodgy company while the rest of the computing industry is moving along.

I guess this article would be more of an interest to legal geeks.

Re:RIGHT - Microsoft wins corrupt judge. Appeal ne (5, Insightful)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#40672051)

This case is irrelevant.

Windows 95 is history.

No this case is relevant because WordPerfect is history.

Re:RIGHT - Microsoft wins corrupt judge. Appeal ne (0)

Shavano (2541114) | more than 2 years ago | (#40673011)

AndNovell is history because they didn't keep up with hundreds of other software companies -- not just Microsoft.

Re:RIGHT - Microsoft wins corrupt judge. Appeal ne (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40673265)

Microsoft torpedoed Novell at every turn. When Windows NT came out, every week there was a patch for Windows 95 that broke the Novell client. Novell would release a patch and Microsoft would break it again.

Re:RIGHT - Microsoft wins corrupt judge. Appeal ne (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40673735)

When Windows NT came out, every week there was a patch for Windows 95

Where did you get those patches?

The did not have a built in 'update' system until win 98. NT4 didnt have one either. You went to their FTP site and hopefully knew which one to get. Then you only did it if something was BROKE or was a major service pack.

It wasnt until the patch system came into being that people regularly installed all the patches.

Novell's main product was sharing files and printers. That was it. Oh it did 500 other things. But that is what people bought it for. Once windows could do that. Novell main product was history. It was an obvious extension to the OS. Which is why they bought ...

Wordperfect had the problem of rewriting their whole product from the ground up (and then not quite getting it right). They even stuck to using those crazy keyboard macros instead of coming up with a somewhat usable GUI. Then the GUI they did have was a horrid pain to use. Then when they finally 'got it'. They ended up with a rather clunky interface. Going from a 80x40 text interface DOS app to a WYSIWYG interface and event driven system is not like flipping a switch. Yeah in the end MS ate their lunch because MS did something they didnt want to do. They came up with a good enough product at a decent price point. Novell was hoping for vendor lockin because of file formats. That didnt work very well for them did it?

Re:RIGHT - Microsoft wins corrupt judge. Appeal ne (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40674555)

Not to mention every version of WordPerfect for Windows was worse than its predecessor. The last remotely usable version was 7. 8 was so unstable, I couldn't use it (it crashed every 5-15 minutes).

Re:RIGHT - Microsoft wins corrupt judge. Appeal ne (1)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | more than 2 years ago | (#40672647)

You can return to your circle jerk.....

Judge also ruled multiple times AGAINST Microsoft. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40675385)

Funny how GrokLaw forgets to mention that the same Judge had previously ruled against Microsoft in the 2002 Sun case. (Just one random article [nytimes.com] )

Or also that he rejected MS's (hilariously self-serving) class action "settlement offer" (Another example article. [baltimoresun.com] )

In fact, this this article [capitalismcenter.org] asserts this judge was biased against Microsoft:

During the hearing to decide this injunction, Judge Motz made a number of questionable comments from the bench, as noted by CAC's Nicholas Provenzo in this post. From the tone of his comments, Motz clearly was ready to rule for Sun almost from the beginning. But at the same time, I would not presume to argue (in the absence of additional evidence, that is) that Motz was not acting correctly under the law. After all, antitrust generally presumes the defendant's guilt from the outset. Unlike murder, rape, or any other objectively defined crime, antitrust violations exist entirely in the eye of the beholder. What this means, more often than not, is that the defendant must prove his conduct wasn't "anti-competitive" or otherwise illegal. Microsoft's very dominance of Windows was itself a presumption of guilt. After all, what rational company wouldn't abuse its monopoly? Of course, the fact that Microsoft had no monopoly—such things are solely the creation of governments, not private businesses—is irrelevant. Facts rarely get in the way of antitrust.

This was not the first time Microsoft faced a clearly biased judge, either.

Oh, there was a 11-1 hung jury? Well, of course, juries can never be wrong, say, like award ridiculous damages for infringement on two claims of a single patent whose validity is still doubtful (The recent RIM case. [nytimes.com] ).

Oh, he's flown in from outside his district to oversee this case? Could just maybe possibly because he has a lot of experience with Microsoft anti-trust cases?

Oh, right, this is /. and OF COURSE MS is evil and so OF COURSE let's ignore all the inconvenient facts and call the Judge corrupt.

Re:RIGHT - Microsoft wins corrupt judge. Appeal ne (3, Informative)

advocate_one (662832) | more than 2 years ago | (#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...

Re:RIGHT - Microsoft wins corrupt judge. Appeal ne (1)

Tough Love (215404) | more than 2 years ago | (#40675955)

Judge Motz is biased; he has flown from outside his district to judge this case

It sounds awfully much like money changed hands.

Appeals (4, Informative)

Lorien_the_first_one (1178397) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Appeals (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40671985)

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 tactics even if Novell wins this one.

Re:Appeals (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40672087)

The final decision will set precedents, which can later be used in other similar cases.

It has also raised some questions about Judge Motz. I'm not saying he's a shill, but he certainly wasn't competent in the relevant case matter. It's certainly questionable why he insisted to take on this case, especially after having a decision overturned on appeal once already. It's very likely this decision will be overturned, and then he'll have two black marks. It's not something a judge looks forward to happening to him, which makes it quite weird.

Re:Appeals (4, Informative)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 2 years ago | (#40672445)

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.

Re:Appeals (0)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | more than 2 years ago | (#40672659)

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....

Re:Appeals (2)

Shavano (2541114) | more than 2 years ago | (#40673071)

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.

Re:Appeals (2)

k(wi)r(kipedia) (2648849) | more than 2 years ago | (#40674839)

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., is effectively its own documentation (even if the quality is poor).

It's also different in the case of Apple when OSX broke compatibility with applications written for System 9.x. At first Apple provided compatibility layer that allowed old software to run under their then new OS.

Whether Novell's claims are true or not is of course another matter. But the complaint is valid.

Re:Appeals (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40674897)

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.

Err, no. You clearly do not understand what this case is about at all. It's an antitrust lawsuit with claims that Microsoft unfairly tied sales of its office product with sales of its popular operating system. All of this has, well, nothing at all to do with anything you just said.

CUfM (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40671777)

faster than this said. 'Screaming MetadiscIuusions

I have this recurring dream ... (1)

daboochmeister (914039) | more than 2 years ago | (#40672059)

... 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.

I wonder... (0)

erroneus (253617) | more than 2 years ago | (#40672131)

... 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 simple enough that they should, in the name of progress and innovation, drop legacy support and focus on current things.

One thing is clear, regardless of which side of the fence you may be on, Microsoft has created a messy legacy of software which really needs to be cleaned up.

So as a businessperson (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40672315)

you'd advocate this cleanup which is one of the most dangerous, lengthy and expensive tasks an OS group can attempt? You'd advocate producing a result which would require major rewrites of the large majority of third-party apps? You'd advocate an approach which, if successful, would provide an excuse for current customers to consider switching platforms? (well if I have to buy all those new rev apps.....why not change to brand y?)

I've been at a similar point in an OS where some advocated evolution, I choose revolution. Now 6 years later, technically I was right. Performance was enhanced 4-500%. But what were the business costs of focusing the necessary resources for a total rewrite...they were considerable and the success of a product can be doubt because of lost sales while people wait for the rumored next great thing. Think of the rumor of a new car model with a bunch of new buzzword features...what does that do to current model sales?

Don't be so certain you know the right answer.

Re:So as a businessperson (2)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | more than 2 years ago | (#40672909)

That process *seems* to work for Apple.

The MS way is to make it easier for developers by keeping archaic APIs around.
The Apple way is to make it easier for users by converging to a better design over time at the expense of making it harder for developers by deprecating APIs.

The only constant is change; the only difference is time. Fast change is called revolution, slow change called evolution.

Re:So as a businessperson (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 2 years ago | (#40674825)

That process *seems* to work for Apple.

That process never worked for Apple. Are we forgetting that Apple needed to be bailed out about the time the quote in my signature was made?

History is littered with the corpses of operating systems that broke significant backward compatibility, with their nose dive coincidentally happening precisely at that compatibility break.

Apple has learned their lesson and they do not break API's nearly as rapidly as they used to. Do not confuse backward compatibility with hardware support. Apple is a hardware company and thrives off obsoleting old hardware as rapidly as they can. 5-year old software works on 1-day old hardware, but often not the other way around in the Apple world. So they are maintaining backward compatibility, but breaking forward compatibility as often as possible.

Re:I wonder... (1)

KingMotley (944240) | more than 2 years ago | (#40674639)

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.

Because WP6 was so perfect, right? (4, Insightful)

Megane (129182) | more than 2 years ago | (#40672743)

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.

Re:Because WP6 was so perfect, right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40672873)

Which is completely not the point. This is the same argument as "victims deserve to be victims," isn't it?

Re:Because WP6 was so perfect, right? (1)

man_of_mr_e (217855) | more than 2 years ago | (#40673119)

When a victim shoots themselves, despite the gun being in a locked safe, a safety, and trigger lock, being forced to load the gun themselves, and pull the trigger themselves... then yes.. they deserve to be a victim...

Re:Because WP6 was so perfect, right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40673247)

Exactly. The things Novell is battling with Microsoft over have nothing whatsoever to do with WordPerfect's failing as a product. In the DOS era I couldn't imagine using anything but WordPerfect - but WordPerfect for Windows was a very shoddy product from the get go and I didn't want to keep using WordPerfect for DOS; there were distinct advantages to using a word processor for Windows, even if I had to re-train and say WordPerfect farewell.

Uh... (2)

JustAnotherIdiot (1980292) | more than 2 years ago | (#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! (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40675305)

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.)

If Novell wins what would that mean? (1)

BetaDays (2355424) | more than 2 years ago | (#40673481)

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 people can't use on the iDevices would be forcefully opened to allow developers to use them? Just like how during the Anti-trust case against MS force MS to document it's APIs that they specifically told people not to use but people did because of the tighter integration it allowed?
I'm serious I really don't understand what this 17 year old case would affect things in todays world.

Re:If Novell wins what would that mean? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40675997)

No, if Novell wins the appeal, no longer can betas include experimental APIs that work in lab settings but fail in wider use and therefore are removed from the system. Novell's concept would require that any API even suggested during development must be included in shipping code (and documented) no matter how poorly it works.

WordPerfect? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40673801)

I'm sorry, did Novel wind up with that software? I was pretty sure they off-loaded it on some other sucker before it sunk. Let's see, when I supported it it was Borland. Loved WP 6 because I could reveal the horrifically twisted and ugly automatic page code and swamp it out. Hands down better than Word 5/6 at the time. Always shocked to see a WP file float through our press department from a client. Some of the youngsters don't even know what WP is.

No get off my lawn!

Re:WordPerfect? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40674303)

One word: MultiMate

Now get off my lawn!

Almost Perfect (1)

oracleguy01 (1381327) | more than 2 years ago | (#40674313)

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.

I appreciate the insight of other users on this... (1)

spads (1095039) | more than 2 years ago | (#40675887)

...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.

Killed themselves by copying (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40676059)

I worked at a company that used Wordperfect (site license for mere pennies), and actually preferred it at the time to Word. Then they started copying Word, and the interface became flat out horrible. There was / is plenty of room to innovate.

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