Microsoft did not break antitrust laws in dealings with Novell, court rules

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  • azreader1 tucson, AZ
    Sept. 23, 2013 8:36 p.m.

    What a fascinating saga. I remember distinctly Pete Peterson's comment in a Wordperfect newsletter at the time that he thought Windows was a flash in the pan. It occurred to me some time later that Wordperfect lost its valuable competitive advantage over Microsoft by being reluctant to embrace the Windows environment early on. But then again, it was banking on OS/2 (IBM's competing operating system) which itself was soon eclipsed by Windows.

    But even as much as the business side of this story, I am also intrigued by the virtually polar-opposite paths later taken by the two billionaire principals of Wordperfect: Alan Ashton and Bruce Bastian.

    Sept. 23, 2013 8:11 p.m.

    As someone who was in that industry at that time (but didn't work for either Novell or Microsoft) the truth is somewhere between. Novell was idiotic in overpaying for WordPerfect, it was already clear that WordPerfect was losing market share and while more powerful than MS Word it was not as WYSIWYG (google it if you don't know what it means). At the same time, Microsoft was already the 800 pound gorilla and often did what I would call unethical things to beat competitors (lying to competitors and the marketplace), even illegal things (especially to competitors too small to fight back).