Feeds

Why MS paid Novell half a billion bucks today

But fresh antitrust suit is in the envelope, says Novell

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

Microsoft paid Novell $536m today, although it might not be enough to fend off a fresh antitrust case, which Novell says it will file by the end of the week. Novell says issues relating to the WordPerfect office suite, which it briefly owned in the early-1990s, are still outstanding.

According to a Novell press release, today's settlement is "related to Novell's NetWare operating system". It's actually around a specific product, NDS for Windows NT, which Novell introduced several years ago, and which Microsoft effectively killed. NDS for NT was a gateway that allowed users to keep password and user management on their existing Novell servers. When Microsoft introduced cryptographic signing of key system DLLs in Windows 2000, which it says it did for security reasons, it was no longer possible for Novell to maintain the product.

The issue was one of the few details to emerge publicly from the European Union's antitrust investigation into Microsoft's server business, which originated with a complaint from Sun Microsystems. Novell had alerted Microsoft to its plans before introducing NDS for NT. But a verbal warning from the former head of the networking group for Windows NT, Dave Thompson (now Exchange Server Product Group manager) had warned Novell that if it proceeded, Microsoft would break the product.

Novell decided to reverse engineering the closed system that was no longer viable, as we pointed out here: "Microsoft had extended the security fence within which third party developers could not go, far enough to kill Novell's product."

The decision was a key factor in Novell becoming a Linux company.

Clearly there's some high-stakes brinksmanship going on between Waltham and Redmond this week, and equally clearly, given that Microsoft has already settled suits with Sun Microsystems and the CCIA, Novell thinks it has a strong hand, and reckons that Microsoft wants to clear the decks of outstanding litigation. Microsoft is appealing the EU decision and suits from Burst and Real Networks are still outstanding. ®

Related stories

MS faces EU shackles on Media Player, Windows servers
How key Microsoft legal emails 'autodestruct'
Allchin named, as proof of MS email destruction policy is sought
Register 'too kind' to The Beast?
EU antitrust probe into Win2k threatens MS core strategy

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Windows 8.1, which you probably haven't upgraded to yet, ALREADY OBSOLETE
Pre-Update versions of new Windows version will no longer support patches
Batten down the hatches, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS due in TWO DAYS
Admins dab straining server brows in advance of Trusty Tahr's long-term support landing
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Windows XP still has 27 per cent market share on its deathbed
Windows 7 making some gains on XP Death Day
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
Microsoft TIER SMEAR changes app prices whether devs ask or not
Some go up, some go down, Redmond goes silent
Red Hat to ship RHEL 7 release candidate with a taste of container tech
Grab 'near-final' version of next Enterprise Linux next week
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.