March 28th, 2002 07:41 PM
Novell Tried to Help Microsoft
Hey guys, got this in an email. Check it out.
Novell Tried to Help Microsoft
By D. IAN HOPPER
WASHINGTON (AP) - Novell worked both sides in the Microsoft antitrust case, helping the government pursue Microsoft while offering to assist the software company with its legal troubles, according to court documents and testimony Thursday.
Novell, which develops software for computer networks, offered to aid Microsoft in the antitrust case if the company would agree to make Novell's software work better with Microsoft products.
As settlement negotiations between Microsoft and the government dragged on in early 2000, Novell Chief Technology Officer Carl Ledbetter wrote that Novell and Microsoft officials would meet ``to discuss how Novell could help Microsoft in its current legal discussions.''
Ledbetter said Thursday the goal was to ``induce Microsoft to become aware that having a greater interoperability with us can help them in their current legal problems.''
Prior to the meeting with Microsoft, Novell had given assistance and submitted complaints to the Justice Department and states suing Microsoft for unlawfully hindering competition.
Microsoft has long argued that its corporate competitors have fueled the antitrust case for their own gain.
Quoting from notes made by a Microsoft employee at the meeting, Microsoft lawyer Michael Lacovera said Ledbetter offered to tell the government that Microsoft had changed its tactics.
``Carl made clear that if we did this deal with Novell, he would talk with the (Justice Department) and certain senators,'' Lacovera quoted the notes as saying.
Ledbetter did not dispute the notes. ``I probably said we would talk to anyone they wanted us to,'' he said. ``I think I said it was clear they could go either way.''
Another item on the 2000 meeting agenda was sealed by the court at Novell's insistence. Despite a plea from a lawyer representing media organizations covering the hearing, U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly closed the courtroom.
Nine states are asking Kollar-Kotelly to force Microsoft to create a stripped-down version of its flagship Windows software that could incorporate competitors' features. The states also want Microsoft to divulge the blueprints for its Internet Explorer browser.
The federal government and nine other states settled their antitrust case against Microsoft last year for lesser penalties.
The original judge in the case, Thomas Penfield Jackson, ordered Microsoft broken into two companies after concluding that it illegally stifled its competitors. An appeals court reversed the breakup order and appointed Kollar-Kotelly to determine a new punishment.
Michael Mace, an executive at handheld computer firm Palm, testified Thursday that Microsoft, through its Windows dominance, could make it difficult for Palm computers to link with desktop computers.
Mace cited a 1999 e-mail from Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates suggesting that Microsoft ``tie some of our audio and video advanced work to only run on our (handheld computers).''
Microsoft lawyers argued that Palm was helping develop the states' antitrust case. They cited internal Palm documents showing that the firm submitted written changes to the states' proposed penalties that would have benefited Palm.
Palm enjoys a huge advantage over Microsoft's competing handheld operating system in both total users and applications available for the product.
Mace said Microsoft set dramatic restrictions for Palm to be included in Microsoft's upcoming Internet services product. That service, called Microsoft.NET, would use the Internet to help users communicate regardless of their location or what devices they use.
Despite its complaints, Palm asked last October to join Microsoft.NET on simpler terms and tried to persuade Microsoft to invest in the handheld computer company, Mace said. Lawyers close to the case said Palm asked for a $50 million investment.
Mace said Palm asked for the investment because ``Microsoft had paid Apple a substantial sum of money in their agreement.'' Microsoft refused to make the investment, but the companies eventually reached an agreement.
States that rejected the government's settlement with Microsoft and have continued to pursue the antitrust case are Iowa, Utah, Massachusetts, Connecticut, California, Kansas, Florida, Minnesota and West Virginia, along with the District of Columbia.
Any input guys?
...This Space For Rent.
March 28th, 2002 07:50 PM
Yeah...MS is spending more time in court than in the coding rooms developing good work and they're getting away with software murder. What they hand over as a 'stripped down' version of their flagship product won't be anything to write home about and as far as the actual source code for IE, nobody will believe that. They've lied/cheated/stolen/etc too long now for people to believe them, especially people like ourselves who've stayed abreast of the cases and we know what they're all about.
We the willing, led by the unknowing, have been doing the impossible for the ungrateful. We have done so much with so little for so long that we are now qualified to do just about anything with almost nothing.
March 28th, 2002 07:54 PM
\"Ignorance is bliss....
but only for your enemy\"