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A year ago: Caldera's ghostly lawsuit rattles chains

Ray Noorda's company rolls on

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A long time ago there was something called DR-DOS that became Novell Dos and that then moved over to being owned by Caldera, the company run by former Novell boss Ray Noorda. Through its long history, particularly in the periods when Ray owned it, it was associated with attacks on Microsoft's business methods, both on the licensing and development fronts. When Ray got hold of DR-DOS for the second time in 1996 he launched a lawsuit against Microsoft, and although Caldera's initial claim was that Microsoft's licensing policies stopped DR-DOS competing with Microsoft's MS-DOS, and therefore was ancient history, a Utah district judge has now ruled that Caldera's argument can be extended to the Windows 95 period. Caldera now proposes to argue that by bundling MS-DOS and Windows 95 together, Microsoft was shutting out competing versions of Dos improperly. So the ancient history lawsuit now becomes peculiarly contemporary. Nowadays we've got licensing arguments over deals with OEMs and ISPs and bundling arguments over Windows 95 and IE. If Caldera can make a persuasive case (as Microsoft points out, so far it's only got a judge to agree to listen), then Microsoft's current regulatory difficulties might begin to look part of a systematic picture spreading back to Well, to the days when Microsoft developers allegedly used the catch-phrase "It [Dos 2.0] ain't done till Lotus won't run." ®

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