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Microsoft Pays $536M to Novell

CmdrTaco posted more than 9 years ago | from the thats-a-heckuva-lotta-dough dept.

Novell 291

_mArk writes "This morning Novell announced that it had settled a potential law suit with Microsoft related to its NetWare product line. Microsoft agreed to pay $536 million to Novell, but this is not the end as there is another litigation against them pertaining to WordPerfect."

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easy handout (5, Funny)

Sv-Manowar (772313) | more than 9 years ago | (#10755459)

perhaps SCO went after the wrong people ?

Re:easy handout (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10755535)

Don't forget to pay your $536,000,000 licensing fee, you cock-smoking teabaggers!

HAHAHAHAHAHA!

You meant "partnered" (1)

gosand (234100) | more than 9 years ago | (#10755841)

perhaps SCO went after the wrong people ?

Don't you mean partnered with the wrong people?

"mirror" (3, Informative)

someguy456 (607900) | more than 9 years ago | (#10755461)

It was already slow for me, with 0 posts, so here it is:

WALTHAM, Mass. -- Nov. 08, 2004 -- Novell today announced an agreement with Microsoft to settle potential antitrust litigation related to Novell's NetWare operating system in exchange for $536 million in cash. Novell also announced that by the end of this week it will file an antitrust suit against Microsoft in the United States District Court in Utah seeking unspecified damages in connection with alleged harm to Novell's WordPerfect application software business in the mid-1990s.

Under terms of the settlement, in exchange for the cash payment, Novell has agreed to a general release of claims that it has as of the date of the agreement, with certain exclusions that include patent claims and claims associated with Novell's WordPerfect business. The agreement also includes a release by Microsoft of claims that would have been compulsory counterclaims to the NetWare claims asserted by Novell. Finally, Novell has agreed to withdraw its intervention in the European Commission's case with Microsoft.

"We are pleased that we have been able to resolve a portion of our pending legal issues with Microsoft," said Joseph A. LaSala, Jr., Novell's senior vice president and general counsel. "This is a significant settlement, particularly since we were able to achieve our objectives without filing expensive litigation. While we have agreed to withdraw from the EU case, we think our involvement there has been useful, as it has assisted the European proceedings and facilitated a favorable settlement with Microsoft. With the EU case now on appeal, we are comfortable with our decision to withdraw from the proceeding. There is simply not much left for us to do.

"We regret that we cannot make a similar announcement regarding our antitrust claims associated with the WordPerfect business. We have had extensive discussions with Microsoft to resolve our differences, but despite our best efforts, we were unable to agree on acceptable terms. We intend to pursue our claims aggressively toward a goal of recovering fair and considerable value for the harm caused to Novell's business," LaSala said.

The WordPerfect suit that Novell will file seeks unspecified damages arising from Microsoft's efforts to eliminate competition in the office productivity applications market during the time that Novell owned the WordPerfect word-processing application and the Quattro Pro spreadsheet application. The suit is based in part on facts proved by the United States Government in its successful antitrust case against Microsoft. In that suit, Microsoft was found to have unlawfully maintained a monopoly in the market for personal computer operating systems by eliminating competition in related markets.
Legal notice regarding forward looking statements

This press release includes statements that are not historical in nature and that may be characterized as "forward-looking statements," including those related to future financial and operating results, benefits and synergies of the company's brands and strategies, future opportunities and the growth of the market for open source solutions. You should be aware that Novell's actual results could differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statements, which are based on current expectations of Novell management and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, Novell's ability to integrate acquired operations and employees, Novell's success in executing its Linux strategies, Novell's ability to deliver on its one Net vision of the Internet, Novell's ability to take a competitive position in the Linux industry, business conditions and the general economy, market opportunities, potential new business strategies, competitive factors, sales and marketing execution, shifts in technologies or market demand and the other factors described in Novell's Current Report on Form 8-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on July 2, 2004. Novell disclaims any intention or obligation to update any forward-looking statements as a result of developments occurring after the date of this press release.

Shouldn't this be posted AC... (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10755602)

... to prevent obvious karma whoring?

So Novell is going to let the EU case die? (5, Interesting)

Sikmaz (686372) | more than 9 years ago | (#10755474)

"Finally, Novell has agreed to withdraw its intervention in the European Commission's case with Microsoft."

Re:So Novell is going to let the EU case die? (4, Interesting)

bfree (113420) | more than 9 years ago | (#10755852)

Personally I cannot believe this is legal. EU takes a case V MS and MS can pay off the prosecution witnesses. Is this not in itself evidence that it is an dominent abusive monopoly which will run wild without legal restraints, the exact thing "anti-trust" laws are for. Imagine you were a witness in a blackmail trial and you were called into an appeal, when asked to give evidence you say "sorry, but I made a deal with the defendant for loads of cash to not say anything so I'm withdrawing my statement". End result, you should presumably be tried to perverting the course of justice and/or the defendant tried for witness intimidation. For a business isn't the ultimate intimidation "if you don't do what we want we won't give you buckets of cash"?

lol (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10755484)

el oh el

You realize what this means for Microsoft? (5, Funny)

burgburgburg (574866) | more than 9 years ago | (#10755487)

$536 Million?
No new boxes of tissue until Tuesday!

Oh, the nasal anguish!

Re:You realize what this means for Microsoft? (1)

NoSuchGuy (308510) | more than 9 years ago | (#10755625)

that means: raise all prices by $ 4,95!

It's Slashdot Novell Day! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10755493)

I bet the sysadmin is having a case of the Mondays.

Re:It's Slashdot Novell Day! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10755726)

I betcha any amount of money that CmdrTaco bought some Novell stock recently. Because of this you'll suddenly see a LOT of Novell articles.

hehehe (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10755494)

first post, no way!

Don't Care Who or Why (0, Troll)

DigitalRaptor (815681) | more than 9 years ago | (#10755496)

I don't care who or why Microsoft loses a lawsuit to someone, I just like to see them lose.

After all the little guys they've screwed over getting to where they are now, and since they're patenting everything under the sun whether they had anything to do with it or not, I'm happy to see them have to fork over the loot.

Re:Don't Care Who or Why (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10755545)

Unfortunately, they didn't "lose" anything here. They simply bought their way out of trouble yet again...

Re:Don't Care Who or Why (2, Insightful)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 9 years ago | (#10755547)

That's because you're a dope.

Novell et al are firing the first shots in the patent wars, and are forcing Microsoft into this recent patenting blitz.

Everybody loses in the end. But you're happy because Microsoft has to pay out a little pocket change to a dying company that has turned to IP litigation as it's last chance for revenue.

If SCO sued MSFT instead of IBM they'd be slashdot heroes.

Re:Don't Care Who or Why (2, Informative)

stanmann (602645) | more than 9 years ago | (#10755614)

If SCO sued MSFT instead of IBM they'd be slashdot heroes.
They did, and they were.

Re:Don't Care Who or Why (1)

j-pimp (177072) | more than 9 years ago | (#10755864)

They did, and they were.

Well there were heroes many protoslashdotters. However, there was no slashdot during that lawsuit.

Re:Don't Care Who or Why (4, Insightful)

DigitalRaptor (815681) | more than 9 years ago | (#10755792)

First shots?

You think this war started today? And Novell started it?

Go to the US Patent Office website and do a patent search for "Microsoft" and one for "Novell" (under the field "Assignee Name").

See who has been doing it more, and longer. I'll save you the trouble:

Microsoft: 3,520, since March 21, 1985
Novell: 243, September 24, 1990

Microsoft has Novell beat by an order of magnitude and then some. To give you some perspective, Amazon.com are famous for their patents, and they only have 41.

Microsoft is the poster boy for patenting anything and everything, and trying to use their "licensing" schemes to control and monopolize the market.

Nobody but William Gates is "forcing" Microsoft into this patent war. They are the agressors, not the victims. And they know exactly what they are doing.

Re:Don't Care Who or Why (1)

Andy_R (114137) | more than 9 years ago | (#10755701)

Microsoft did NOT lose this lawsuit. They simply paid off one of the the victims of their crime.

Re:Don't Care Who or Why (1)

alw53 (702722) | more than 9 years ago | (#10755881)

This cost Microsoft about 3 cents in earnings this quarter, taking their earnings from 23 cents to 20 cents. So it might depress earnings by 4 percent for one year. Not a bad price to pay for blowing away yet another competitor.

Re:Don't Care Who or Why (1)

erick99 (743982) | more than 9 years ago | (#10755733)

MS hasn't lost anything yet and is not likely to lose. Buy paying $500M now they get Novell off their backs for the international case and will probably avoid a much bigger fine down the road. It's a cost of doing business. If they didn't want to pay Novell the $500M they could have tied them up in court until Novell was a penny stock with two employees left. If MS paid out, it's because they have a strategy that makes it worthwhile in the long run.

Re:Don't Care Who or Why (1)

TangoCharlie (113383) | more than 9 years ago | (#10755899)

So who would you back in a Microsoft vs. SCO case?

Maybe the only case where I don't mind the Lawers
being the only ones to win :-)

Novell is a dead company (-1, Troll)

dmf415 (218827) | more than 9 years ago | (#10755501)

Looking at Novell's product line, they seem to be a dead company... or a totally restructured one from the past...

Re:Novell is a dead company (5, Insightful)

paitre (32242) | more than 9 years ago | (#10755589)

Novell is "reinventing" themselves as a Linux company.
Specifically, who do you think owns SuSE these days? It's Novell.

IMO - I think Novell has a couple of very nice products that they simply need to redeploy - a lot of the technology behind netware is actually pretty cool, but they allowed themselves to become marginalized (IOW - they sat on the laurels they built for themselves in the late80's and early '90s and it's almost put them out of business).

Once they finish this turn around, I expect them to regain some competitiveness, but getting back into "their" market is going to take some doing.

Re:Novell is a dead company (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10755634)

I'd love to agree... except, with the aquisition of Suse, I think they will quickly become the number 2 commercial linux distro, perhaps even number 1 over redhat.

Why do I say this, novell still has name recognition. Sure, they were destroyed by MS in the server arena, but they never lost face in the eyes of us Net Admins. So, as a administrator, if I had to pick a linux distro for my business I would be all over Novell/Suse.

Just my $0.02

Re:Novell is a dead company (2, Interesting)

Zorilla (791636) | more than 9 years ago | (#10755800)

Looking at Novell's product line, they seem to be a dead company... or a totally restructured one from the past...

Better check and be sure first:

www.netcraft.com [netcraft.com]

Sue sue sue, it's the American way! (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10755512)

All these whiny dinosaur software companies need to quit blaming Microsoft for their lack of success and come up with something innovative on their own. WordPerfect became the market leader, then they got all fat and lazy, providing the opportunity for Microsoft to come along and eat their lunch with just a few new features that the folks at WordPerfect were too lazy to implement.

Novell should have moved into the operating systems market long ago, since NetWare basically existed just to make up for the Windows networking components being shitty at the time. Once Microsoft figured out how networks operate, there was no more need for Novell NetWare.

Well, you know what they say. Those that can't innovate litigate.

Re:Sue sue sue, it's the American way! (2, Funny)

grasshoppa (657393) | more than 9 years ago | (#10755550)

No, wait, I thought we liked Novelle now.

Damn it, did I miss a meeting again?

Re:Sue sue sue, it's the American way! (1)

megarich (773968) | more than 9 years ago | (#10755646)

hey if whining gets me a cool half a bill sign me up!!!! anywho i have some small stock in novell so news like this is good news to me....

Re:Sue sue sue, it's the American way! (5, Informative)

barc0001 (173002) | more than 9 years ago | (#10755678)

NetWare basically existed just to make up for the Windows networking components being shitty at the time.

Not up on your computer history, are you? You *must* have meant to say:

"NetWare basically existed just to make up for the Windows networking components being NON EXISTANT at the time."

Novell Netware predates ANY Microsoft networking. For most of the late 80's/early 90's until Windows for Workgroups came out, Netware and Banyan Vines were the only way to get a bunch of PCs to form a network. I am presuming you didn't actually work with computers and networks during this time frame, because if you did, there's no way you could have made such an erroneous statement.

And Novell has innovated quite a bit. Or were you just being ironic? Where do you think Microsoft got the "inspiration" for Active Directory, among other things?

No, (1, Informative)

bnavarro (172692) | more than 9 years ago | (#10755772)

Microsoft had LAN Manager, which was direct, if crappy, competition to Netware and Banyan, before they incorporated into WfW as peer-to-peer filesharing. Indeed, if you peek at even the NT networking layer dlls, I believe you will still see ID strings titled "LANMAN" -- showing that there still either exists some LAN Manager code in Windows, or at least that the NetBEUI layer is still codenamed after what it originated from.

Re:No, (2, Interesting)

paesano (784687) | more than 9 years ago | (#10755855)

I think you'll see that NetWare pre-dated LanMan, which, by Novell Engineers, was often referred to as "LandFill." Novell created the market (very innovative). Banyan innovated with their Directory component. Novell improved on the Directory (a huge gamble and innovation). Microsoft just kept trying to catch up. Eventually they had an inferior product that worked just well enough to compete. Then the FUD and marketing took over. The rest is history (notice the absolute lack of techincal innovation).

Re:No, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10755868)

> Microsoft had LAN Manager

Pathworks had LAN Manager. Microsoft licensed the technology for WfW. The relevant README files even mention Pathworks in the copyright and trademark statements.

Novell wanted complete control over the netware stack, and wouldn't touch NetBUI, which Microsoft was already pretty well roped into supporting at the time. This doomed any more deals with them.

Re:Sue sue sue, it's the American way! (1)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 9 years ago | (#10755890)

In the late eighties, I remember our school network (a bunch of Research Machines 80186 based machines that ran DOS (3.1, IIRC) but were otherwise PC-incompatable) running some sort of Microsoft networking software (complete with "NET" command, as visible in today's stuff) over our 10Base-2 network (mmmm coax...) Pretty much the only thing an end user could do with this was access shared file servers, assigning a drive using the NET USE command.

I think it's fair to say Novell's software was better than Microsoft's, not that Microsoft didn't have any. Microsoft's was crude, but it most certainly did exist.

Windows for Workgroups was rather more powerful than what had been before, in part because it supported more standardized protocols such as TCP/IP together with dial up systems.

Re:Sue sue sue, it's the American way! (5, Insightful)

paesano (784687) | more than 9 years ago | (#10755737)

Gee, I don't know. Maybe some of the failures of Word Perfect (and every other competitor) had something to do with Microsoft's ability to lock them all out of every large Enterprise by their bundling practices. Innovate? Microsoft? Your kidding, right? Their only innovations have been with slimy business practices. No one can dispute their absolute genious there.

Novell Ran WP Into The Ground! (1)

spockman (532973) | more than 9 years ago | (#10755896)

The biggest problem I saw was that Novell basically did nothing with WP. They had what at the time was arguably the best product and did nothing with it but sell it to Corel, I think 3 years later?? who got it too late.

Re:Sue sue sue, it's the American way! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10755861)

more like screw, screw, screw: it's the billy bathgates way. Jeaze, only a paid billy bathgates astroturfer says "Those that can't innovate litigate"? The last time billy bathgates innovated was the time they offered free lubricant for their business competitors.

Well (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10755515)

I hate Microsoft, but I hate Novell more.

kthx

all I can say is.... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10755519)

Mwaa haa haaahaahahahahahaa haaa haa haaah ha haha haha ha

Good for Linux Desktop (1)

syntap (242090) | more than 9 years ago | (#10755523)

Maybe now they can change the "eval" flag to "fully free"

Profit (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10755529)

1. Pay Novell
2. ???
3. Profit

Beware the Microsoft settlements (5, Insightful)

IGnatius T Foobar (4328) | more than 9 years ago | (#10755531)

Generally, whenever Microsoft settles with anyone it's bad for the free world.
  • Microsoft settles with DOJ. Result: Microsoft doesn't get broken up like it deserved, and now wants to "license" standard Internet protocols to you.
  • Microsoft settles with AOL. Result: the final nail in Netscape's coffin, and the Mozilla developers all get fired. And of course, the dream of seeing Gecko in AOL client is dashed.
  • Microsoft settles with Sun. Result: anti-Linux collusion between Microsoft and Sun.
  • Microsoft settles with Novell. Result: We don't know yet, but I'm expecting something ugly. Maybe some bizarre legal cross-licensing to prevent non-commercial software from existing?

Re:Beware the Microsoft settlements (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10755586)

The dream of seeing Gecko in AOL? Who cares? Microsoft remains completely dominant on the desktop because people like Windows. Gecko changes nothing. If Microsoft put significant resources to upgrading their aging Explorer, it would stem the tide of Firefox. AOL is only important to AOL.

Re:Beware the Microsoft settlements (1)

SpaceLifeForm (228190) | more than 9 years ago | (#10755633)

But, if it really smells, then why did Novell buy SuSE?

Re:Beware the Microsoft settlements (1)

winse (39597) | more than 9 years ago | (#10755785)

This isn't a LETS-BE-FRIENDS-NOW type settlemenet. This money is blood drawn from M$. I think LaSala has just won the M$ most pesky people award. From what I understand this only settles a portion of the ongoing litigation Novell has had pending against M$.

Re:Beware the Microsoft settlements (5, Interesting)

Ohreally_factor (593551) | more than 9 years ago | (#10755653)

Microsoft settles with Novell. Result: We don't know yet, but I'm expecting something ugly. Maybe some bizarre legal cross-licensing to prevent non-commercial software from existing?

And let's not forget the recent resignation of Chris Stone [slashdot.org] from Novell. Maybe it's just a coincidence.

Re:Beware the Microsoft settlements (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10755824)

My take on Chris Stone is that he had a falling out with Waltham in September when he was 'sent' to harvard business school. His 'resignation was just a formalization of Messmen et al. giving him the axe

Re:Beware the Microsoft settlements (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10755926)

And there's, like, that lil' company Novell bought [zdnet.co.uk] some time ago.. What was the name? Mmmm, t'was something like SuSE... I think so, but can't seem to remember very clearly. I think they were into something like Linux... Lenux, Lanux, Lunux? Must have some email about it somewhere...

$ sign in front? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10755536)

Do you guys really say "dollar 536 million"?

Re:$ sign in front? (4, Informative)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 9 years ago | (#10755619)

It is one of those things that are supposed to help you read by preparing the reader for what they are reading.

It is similar to having the upside-down question marks and such in spanish... it is so the reader knows up front that they are reading a question.

Re:$ sign in front? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10755640)

Yup we do.

Re:$ sign in front? (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 9 years ago | (#10755661)

What would you say, "536 dollar million"?

Re:$ sign in front? (1)

I confirm I'm not a (720413) | more than 9 years ago | (#10755689)

I can't speak for the US, but New Zealand certainly puts the $ up-front. We'd say "536 million dollars", though.

Ditto for the UK and most of the rest (all?) of the EU: the Pound (Sterling) or Euro symbol would go up-front, but they'd say it with the currency last.

Just out of curiousity, which currencies don't follow this system?

Re:$ sign in front? (1)

Moby Cock (771358) | more than 9 years ago | (#10755853)

In french the symbol is written after the digits. i.e:

English: $25
French: 25$

I'm really indiferent to it in most cases. I suppose it is easier to understand when reading the french way. I say that because the symbols apppear in the order you'd say them aloud.

"Twenty-five dollars" = 25$.

Re:$ sign in front? (1)

Zorilla (791636) | more than 9 years ago | (#10755876)

While the international Japanese symbol for yen comes before the numerical value, I believe the Kanji comes after the number when money is expressed in Japanese, matching up with the way dates and times are expressed.

Re:$ sign in front? (1)

Nosher (574322) | more than 9 years ago | (#10755897)

I vaguely remember that Thai Baht generally has the symbol at the end. And of course, pretty much all currencies put their fractional sign (usually hundreths, such as (p)ence, (c)ent, etc) at the end...

Re:$ sign in front? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10755901)

Just out of curiousity, which currencies don't follow this system?

Most eastasian currencies don't follow that system when written in the local language -- this is probably why many non-native English speakers place the currency symbol in the wrong location.

Re:$ sign in front? (2, Funny)

julesh (229690) | more than 9 years ago | (#10755739)

No. But the sign still goes in front.

Re:$ sign in front? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10755767)

Actually in an international forum, the $ would be pre-pended to show the currency symbol, and USD would be appended to show _which_ dollars were involved.

But as someone already pointed out, this is a standard convention for currencies world-wide, and would be spoken as "536 million dollars" or "536 million US dollars".

Woo Hoo! (0, Troll)

santiag0 (213647) | more than 9 years ago | (#10755539)

I was loading up on NOVL stock friday on that selloff over Chris Stone leaving.

Thank You Mr. Gates! I now officially forgive you for all the hours I've spent fixing spyware and virus ridden Windows boxes for my friends and family over the last few years (I've been on Linux for 5 years, still can't seem to get away from fixing windows boxes though).

BTW: the new Novell Linux Desktop aimed at corporate customers looks slick: http://www.novell.com/products/desktop/ [novell.com]

Tinfoil hat time... (1)

kuwan (443684) | more than 9 years ago | (#10755729)

I was loading up on NOVL stock friday on that selloff over Chris Stone leaving.

With news of this big settlement comes the question: Why did Chris Stone leave?

Was it because of the terms of this settlement? What concessions did Microsoft get from Novell to make the settlement work for them? Will this now affect Novell's Linux strategy?

Re:Woo Hoo! (1)

dprust (316840) | more than 9 years ago | (#10755851)

Well, let's be fair though -- the only computer that is truly secure is unplugged, locked-up in a warehouse, and guarded by very hungry dogs. Since the bewilderingly large majority of people use Windows, it makes sense to target Windows for things like spyware, viruses, etc. If the Macintosh had more than 2% of the market, those spyware/virus makers would spend more time on the Macintosh. I'm old enough to remember the days when Macintoshes had /more/ viruses than Windows did for this reason -- Mac used to be on top.

Yawn. The river flows. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10755542)

I know this means a lot to Novell, but big money moves in this industry (like in so many others) like a river. Microsoft has a viable, long term strategy for survival and success. Novell has a viable, long term strategy for survival -- maybe. Part of the Microsoft strategy is legal payoffs as the cost of doing business. Things change when companies fail to innovate. IBM was too slow to keep up so they went through a bad time. Microsoft innovates not in the realm of technology, but in the realm of selling technology. No one does it better.

Shazbot (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10755562)

We appear to have slashdotted Novell. That's how we repay them on a Monday morning, huh? Oh wait, here it is.

Novell Settles One Antitrust Claim with Microsoft for $536 Million, Plans to File Suit on Second Claim
Press Release

  • Novell and Microsoft settle potential lawsuit related to Novell's NetWare operating system for $536 million
  • Novell announces it will file antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft related to WordPerfect claims

WALTHAM, Mass. -- Nov. 08, 2004 -- Novell today announced an agreement with Microsoft to settle potential antitrust litigation related to Novell's NetWare operating system in exchange for $536 million in cash. Novell also announced that by the end of this week it will file an antitrust suit against Microsoft in the United States District Court in Utah seeking unspecified damages in connection with alleged harm to Novell's WordPerfect application software business in the mid-1990s.

Under terms of the settlement, in exchange for the cash payment, Novell has agreed to a general release of claims that it has as of the date of the agreement, with certain exclusions that include patent claims and claims associated with Novell's WordPerfect business. The agreement also includes a release by Microsoft of claims that would have been compulsory counterclaims to the NetWare claims asserted by Novell. Finally, Novell has agreed to withdraw its intervention in the European Commission's case with Microsoft.

"We are pleased that we have been able to resolve a portion of our pending legal issues with Microsoft," said Joseph A. LaSala, Jr., Novell's senior vice president and general counsel. "This is a significant settlement, particularly since we were able to achieve our objectives without filing expensive litigation. While we have agreed to withdraw from the EU case, we think our involvement there has been useful, as it has assisted the European proceedings and facilitated a favorable settlement with Microsoft. With the EU case now on appeal, we are comfortable with our decision to withdraw from the proceeding. There is simply not much left for us to do.

"We regret that we cannot make a similar announcement regarding our antitrust claims associated with the WordPerfect business. We have had extensive discussions with Microsoft to resolve our differences, but despite our best efforts, we were unable to agree on acceptable terms. We intend to pursue our claims aggressively toward a goal of recovering fair and considerable value for the harm caused to Novell's business," LaSala said.

The WordPerfect suit that Novell will file seeks unspecified damages arising from Microsoft's efforts to eliminate competition in the office productivity applications market during the time that Novell owned the WordPerfect word-processing application and the Quattro Pro spreadsheet application. The suit is based in part on facts proved by the United States Government in its successful antitrust case against Microsoft. In that suit, Microsoft was found to have unlawfully maintained a monopoly in the market for personal computer operating systems by eliminating competition in related markets.

Legal notice regarding forward looking statements
This press release includes statements that are not historical in nature and that may be characterized as "forward-looking statements," including those related to future financial and operating results, benefits and synergies of the company's brands and strategies, future opportunities and the growth of the market for open source solutions. You should be aware that Novell's actual results could differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statements, which are based on current expectations of Novell management and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, Novell's ability to integrate acquired operations and employees, Novell's success in executing its Linux strategies, Novell's ability to deliver on its one Net vision of the Internet, Novell's ability to take a competitive position in the Linux industry, business conditions and the general economy, market opportunities, potential new business strategies, competitive factors, sales and marketing execution, shifts in technologies or market demand and the other factors described in Novell's Current Report on Form 8-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on July 2, 2004. Novell disclaims any intention or obligation to update any forward-looking statements as a result of developments occurring after the date of this press release.

About Novell
Novell, Inc. (Nasdaq: NOVL) is a leading provider of information solutions that deliver secure identity management (Novell Nsure(TM)), Web application development (Novell exteNd(TM)) and cross-platform networking services (Novell Nterprise(TM)), all supported by strategic consulting and professional services (Novell NgageSM). Active in the open source community with its Ximian® and SUSE LINUX brands, Novell provides a full range of Linux products and services for the enterprise, from the desktop to the server. Novell's vision of one Net - a world without information boundaries - helps customers realize the value of their information securely and economically. For more information, call Novell's Customer Response Center at (888) 321-4CRC (4272) or visit http://www.novell.com. Press should visit http://www.novell.com/pressroom.

Novell and Ximian are registered trademarks; Cambridge Technology Partners and Novell Consulting are registered service marks; eDirectory, Nsure, exteNd and Nterprise are trademarks; and Ngage is a service mark of Novell, Inc. in the United States and other countries. SUSE is a registered trademark of SUSE LINUX AG, a Novell business.

Press Contact:
Hal Thayer
Novell, Inc
Phone: (781) 464-8480
E-mail: hal.thayer@novell.com

--dr. ink

1994? Should have sued them then. (4, Informative)

garcia (6573) | more than 9 years ago | (#10755566)

The WordPerfect suit that Novell will file seeks unspecified damages arising from Microsoft's efforts to eliminate competition in the office productivity applications market during the time that Novell owned the WordPerfect word-processing application and the Quattro Pro spreadsheet application. The suit is based in part on facts proved by the United States Government in its successful antitrust case against Microsoft. In that suit, Microsoft was found to have unlawfully maintained a monopoly in the market for personal computer operating systems by eliminating competition in related markets.

Now, I can't stand MSFT's business tactics as much as the next Slashdotter but WordPerfect missed the fucking boat on a lot of shit when it came to the migration from DOS to Windows...

Novell bought out WordPerfect 3/94. They were supporting legacy versions of WordPerfect for DOS and updating several versions for Windows. How they expected to compete against Word was really beyond me. Any software application that basically required a function key explanation chart at the top of every keyboard was doomed when GUI took hold.

I have fond memories of WP5.1 for DOS but I am so glad that we have moved away from SHIFT+ALT+CTRL F11 for foo. WordPerfect took over from WordStar because of superior interface and design. While many people adore WP I wonder if it is more of a holdover from years gone by rather than actual superiority.

Personally, Word is easy to get and use and it happens to be better than what Corel/Novell was offering at the time and that's why it won out. Maybe this lawsuit was better served 10 years ago in 1994 and not now in 2004.

Re:1994? Should have sued them then. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10755615)

I am so glad that we have moved away from SHIFT+ALT+CTRL F11 for foo.

I take it you're not an Emacs user... :-)

garcia must be trolling for the GNAA yet again! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10755690)

Personally, Word is easy to get and use and it happens to be better than what Corel/Novell was offering at the time and thats why it won out.

This is simply not correct as you are stating a subjective opinion as fact. Studies show that Word is no easier to use, and they have far from "won out" as MS's office suite is losing market share. Superior word processing has always been in the realm of Novell, and you are simply biting on Microsoft's marketing bait.

Re:1994? Should have sued them then. (3, Insightful)

julesh (229690) | more than 9 years ago | (#10755700)

I have fond memories of WP5.1 for DOS but I am so glad that we have moved away from SHIFT+ALT+CTRL F11 for foo. WordPerfect took over from WordStar because of superior interface and design. While many people adore WP I wonder if it is more of a holdover from years gone by rather than actual superiority.

Perhaps it's because once you've learned it, the interface style you're "glad that we have moved away from" is actually superior to most modern interfaces, at least in terms of operator efficiency. It's just the learning curve that's a bitch.

Re:1994? Should have sued them then. (3, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 9 years ago | (#10755734)

It's just the learning curve that's a bitch.

For regular users of the software the learning curve is worth the time. For those that just want to type a quick document but still want to be able to perform operations on the document want to do so without having to look at cryptic key combinations or find options buried in hidden menus.

Most computer users these days are "casual users" and don't care to learn more than point and click. The "power users" might be offended by the fact that they are being left out but the simple fact of the matter is that the "casual users" are the ones in the majority and the ones that the companies cater to.

Re:1994? Should have sued them then. (1)

dosius (230542) | more than 9 years ago | (#10755915)

WordPerfect 5.1 had pulldown menus and 6.0 had a toolbar similar to Word's. Corel WordPerfect 6.2 for DOS is still a great word processor even now, imho, and to me no harder to get running with as a n00b than Word.

Moll.

Re:1994? Should have sued them then. (4, Insightful)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 9 years ago | (#10755902)

There are still keyboard shortcuts for everything in Word, if you want to go ahead and learn them to improve efficiency.

That's what they teach you in those MS Word courses at the local community college (at least thats what the good ones should teach you).

I don't know them, because I don't use Word but maybe twice a year.

With WP I had to know them, which sucked, until 5.1 came out and you could use a mouse to access pulldown menus.

That is, before WP 5.1 came out, I would actually do school reports and stuff in GEOWrite on my old C64, leaving the PC collecting dust. I'd rather wait for the screen to refresh than spend forever scanning over the template to look for the "italics" hotkey.

Hopefully (2, Interesting)

BlackEyedSceva (798150) | more than 9 years ago | (#10755568)

I would like to see Novell overpower Microsoft more often. From the looks of Novell's new linux product lineup, it appears they may be a major competitor against microsoft in the future.

Re:Hopefully (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 9 years ago | (#10755599)

Yep.. Embrace linux, then sue the hell out of whoever in the industry has money.

It worked for SCO. It can work for Novell! Go Novell!

Re:Hopefully (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10755611)

Novell Desktop Linux. The answer to the question that nobody's asking.

Now they can claim funding (3, Funny)

bblazer (757395) | more than 9 years ago | (#10755572)

Paying off these lawsuits is just the cost of doing business for MS. But given their perversion of reality, I wouldn't be surprised if I soon see Balmer giving one of his heart attack speeches claiming that they love open source and that by paying these law suits that they are really funding it.

WordPerfect (2, Interesting)

clinko (232501) | more than 9 years ago | (#10755577)

WordPerfect... The OTHER Monopoly. Several Law, Insurance, & State departments are still forced to use WordPerfect because they archived in WPDs.

I really don't feel for WordPerfect's side on that suit.

Re:WordPerfect (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 9 years ago | (#10755702)

Wahhhhh..

MSFT stoled *our monopoly* by introducing a superior alternative! They even made it aware of all of our keyboard shortcuts to help people migrate!

Wahhhh gimme money.

Re:WordPerfect (1, Flamebait)

Lxy (80823) | more than 9 years ago | (#10755814)

You're a fscking idiot.

Wouldn't "monopoly" imply that they have a significant user base?

I work in a Wordperfect shop. We have since started moving to Word. The users have literally started a mutiny against us, because we're taking away the superior WP product and giving them inferior Word. Some are to the point of taking their documents home and working on them in WP there, because they don't want to have to use Word. Word is an inferior product, no doubt about it.

Also, there is no such thing as WPD lock-in. WPD is one of the nicer formats out there, and if you've looked at Abiword or talked to the WP OO.o developers, you'll know that it's a lot easier to work with than .DOC. The WP format hasn't changed much since WP6.1, and opening up a WP6.1 files on Corel WP 12 is pretty slick. Try opening a complex Word document from even one version ago. Yeah, right. You'll be reformatting for hours. WP stays pretty standard on their format.

Let me guess, you've never used WP, and you've been brainwashed into thinking Word is better. Idiot.

Re:WordPerfect (1)

blether (817276) | more than 9 years ago | (#10755878)

WordPerfect did have the monopoly, the mind share and the lock-in back in the late eighties, early nineties. That they managed to lose it (and it wasn't because they were playing nice) is one of the classic stories of atrocious mismanagement.

Re:WordPerfect (and Oo.org) (3, Interesting)

gosand (234100) | more than 9 years ago | (#10755880)

Also, there is no such thing as WPD lock-in. WPD is one of the nicer formats out there, and if you've looked at Abiword or talked to the WP OO.o developers, you'll know that it's a lot easier to work with than .DOC. The WP format hasn't changed much since WP6.1, and opening up a WP6.1 files on Corel WP 12 is pretty slick. Try opening a complex Word document from even one version ago. Yeah, right. You'll be reformatting for hours. WP stays pretty standard on their format.

This brings up a question I have had - how come I can open up Word documents in OpenOffice, but not WordPerfect documents? OpenOffice has conversion tools built-in for many formats, but not WP.

Re:WordPerfect (5, Interesting)

Reziac (43301) | more than 9 years ago | (#10755951)

And "monopoly" would imply *lack* of choice. People used WP by choice back then even more than now -- in WP's heyday, WP had direct competition from Wordstar, MultiMate, and numerous other word processors of varying capability. WP cornered what was then a very competitive market because of several factors:

1) support for every printer known to man
2) features that users wanted (notably, features for lawyers, which no other product bothered to include)
3) excellent free tech support for one and all (legal user or not)
4) Reveal Codes (the ultimate timesaver for complex documents)

WP only lost the market lead by being slow and lame to the Windows bandwagon, and I think more critical, by radically reducing their free tech support.

Until WPWin8, where WP got its Windows act back together, WinWord was prettier to look at, but Word has *never* been superior in any way, and as you say about file formats -- lordy!!

BTW, tho I have (and use, and collect) most WP versions, I still use WP5.1 as my everyday workhorse, and I lurk on the WP OO.o mailing list. :)

Chris Stone? (3, Interesting)

wcdw (179126) | more than 9 years ago | (#10755592)

So is *this* the reason that Chris left Novell on Friday?

http://www.theboyz.biz/ [theboyz.biz] Your source for hardware, software, video games, small appliances, electronics and more!

#irc.trooltalk.com (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10755616)

found out about the usersK of NetBSD and as BSD sinks t4e mundane chores

Round and round... (3, Interesting)

tod_miller (792541) | more than 9 years ago | (#10755629)

Someone make a nice chart with who paid who what...

I have a snakeing suspiscion that the IT world, for all thier intelligence and success, are being played by sleeping agents of lawyers who deliberately steer companies to collide, and the resultant lawsuites just move money around, while the lawyers skim the cheddar off the top...

So, to draw sides:

Novell, Sun, IBM, AMD

versus

Microsoft, SCO, Intel and... erm...

Man this hurts my head, who to trust...

I noticed Novell came from nowhere (IMHO) recently exposurewise, they really built themselves up as a player (IMHO) and this linux offering is becoming the dotCom tradition now, make a any company, and you have to have your own distro! (Yeah yeah I know about novell and unix)

Maybe one day Microsoft will have thier own linux distro...

Oh, I forgot, they are buying licenses off SCO, and rewriting gnu code into longhorn (true!)

Well done those guys.

Now who hates kodak?

Re:Round and round... (1, Interesting)

I confirm I'm not a (720413) | more than 9 years ago | (#10755750)

they [Microsoft] are buying licenses off SCO, and rewriting gnu code into longhorn (true!)

Much as I'd love to believe that, it'd (a) be against the terms of the GPL, and (b) if/when they were caught - they'd be so badly screwed it wouldn't be funny[1]. And they'd be caught just as soon as they refused to pay an employee a raise. So - got any proof?

[1] Oh, alright. It would be funny. Very.

Re:Round and round... (1)

teamhasnoi (554944) | more than 9 years ago | (#10755779)

Oh, I forgot, they are buying licenses off SCO, and rewriting gnu code into longhorn (true!)

I don't put it past them, as the evil aura that surrounds MS is enough to be confused with Northern Lights in Redmond. Do you have a source for this?

Re:Round and round... (0, Flamebait)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 9 years ago | (#10755946)

Do you have a source for this?

Yeah, he read it in some users comment on slashdot, that's his source.

The code MS already has is in almost every case superior to any GPL equivelant.

Either this is slashbot idiocy at it's zenith, or YHBT, HAND.

But do they do Windows (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10755665)

It's a nice looking package and the indemnification is certainly nice for the corporate market they're targeting but have they got the "playing nice with Windows" down like the Xandros Linux desktop [xandros.com] . Do they handle interacting with Windows shares seamlessly and is authentication through an Active Directory server or PDC domain as seamless as with the Business Edition [xandros.com] of Xandros Desktop. If you don't have the seamless windows compatibility in a sea of Windows boxes, your Linux machine is going nowhere.

Have to try it and see I guess but I'm not too optimistic.

Re:But do they do Windows (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 9 years ago | (#10755849)

Which browser/file manager/whatever can browse a windows share the same way explorer does?

That is, I can type \\servername\share\folder into the "address bar", or equivelant, and be able to browse it? Or browse the entire network to discover shares with a "network neighbourhood" type of equivelant?

I can't get LISA to work properly, and don't particularly care for KDE. LISA all works around pinging hosts, and as a rule my boxes all ignore ICMP. No reason to ping stuff on my lan at home.

Is there such support actually built into any file manager, that doesnt require some wonky daemon in the background? Mounting the share to access it is awkward, and you have to know the fully qualified path to the share (no browsing or discovery).

Printers too. I want to browse the network, find a printer, and click on it to install it, just like in windows. Can such things be done yet?

Here's hoping... (1)

KrackHouse (628313) | more than 9 years ago | (#10755704)

...Word is based on Wordperfect so even if OO.o Writer is copying Word it'll be free and clear unless Novell decides to sue which is unlikely I'd guess.

Re:Here's hoping... (2, Interesting)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 9 years ago | (#10755738)

Here's hoping Novell loses big, and no judge is stupid enough to think that a word processor (one of the first functions PCs were designed to be able to do) is a market you can hijack with patents.

Word had a sensible GUI, WP stuck with cryptic keyboard shortcuts. WP lost on the usability front. They once had a monopoly on word processing, just like Netscape once had a virtual monopoly on browsers. And they both lost it by never adapting their sucktastic products.

Re:Here's hoping... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10755827)

On the long term, "cryptic" keyboard shortcuts are a big win.

At the time, the market was undergoing huge growth, so long term benefits were not a deciding factor; the rate of assimilating new users was.

Half a billion (3, Funny)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 9 years ago | (#10755709)

"We are pleased that we have been able to resolve a portion of our pending legal issues with Microsoft"

Well, duh! You're going to get a check for over half a billion dollars. I'd be more than "pleased."

Ah haa... (0, Offtopic)

T3kno (51315) | more than 9 years ago | (#10755744)

I guess we now know why microsoft was holding all of that cash.

Strategy on Microsofts part to legitimize lawsuits (5, Interesting)

3770 (560838) | more than 9 years ago | (#10755776)

Is it a strategy on Microsofts part to legitimize software related lawsuits?

They have really deep pockets. They can afford to pay. When the pay they achieve two things:

1) They can stop worrying about the lawsuit and continue with their business.
2) They also legitimize the claim of the other company, in this case Novell, thereby setting a precedent.

When Microsoft sets a precedent it means that the next company that Sun or Novell or SCO sues will almost certainly have to pay. There is a precedent after all. But that company might not be able to pay. And then Microsoft has one competitor less.

w00t! (2, Funny)

pr0nbot (313417) | more than 9 years ago | (#10755833)

That's the executive pay [marklogic.com] more than taken care of, now they can get nice fat "performance"-related bonuses too!

Ah, just kidding, they're doing good stuff.

Business practice (1, Funny)

Golobarti (733832) | more than 9 years ago | (#10755895)

1. Develop word processing software
2. Attempt to compete with Microsoft
3. Watch the share prices take a dive
4. Fire sell software to Corel for $186 Million
5. Watch Corel's share price take a dive
6. Sue Microsoft
7. Settle with Microsoft for $536 Million
8 Profit!

Possible Bribe? (2, Interesting)

freaksta (524994) | more than 9 years ago | (#10755953)

Finally, Novell has agreed to withdraw its intervention in the European Commission's case with Microsoft.
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