Bill Gates Utah

November 21, 2011 by staff 

Bill Gates Utah, Microsoft’s Bill Gates was set to testify Monday in a $1 billion antitrust lawsuit accusing the software maker of duping a competitor prior to its rollout of Windows 95.

The case against Microsoft has been ongoing in federal court in Salt Lake City for about a month.

Utah-based Novell Inc. sued Microsoft in 2004, claiming the Redmond, Wash., company violated U.S. antitrust laws through its arrangements with other computer makers when it launched Windows 95. Novell says it was later forced to sell WordPerfect for a $1.2 billion loss.

The company argues that Microsoft co-founder Gates ordered company engineers to reject WordPerfect as a Windows 95 application because he feared it was too good. WordPerfect’s share of the market then plummeted from nearly 50 percent to less than 10 percent as Microsoft’s own office programs took hold.

Novell attorney Jeff Johnson has conceded that Microsoft was under no legal obligation to provide advance access to the Windows 95 operating system so Novell could prepare a compatible WordPerfect version. Microsoft, however, enticed Novell to work on a version, only to withdraw support months before Windows 95 hit the market, he said.

Microsoft lawyer David Tulchin said Gates decided against installing WordPerfect because it threatened to crash Windows and couldn’t be fixed in time for the rollout. He argued that Novell’s missed opportunity was its own fault, and that Microsoft had no obligation to give a competitor a leg up.

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