Feeds

Gates: Novell are sore losers, Word trounced WordPerfect

Microsoft supremo testifies at antitrust hearing

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Hard work and the competition's ineptitude saw Microsoft Word thump WordPerfect, Bill Gates told a US court hearing the $1bn anti-competition case brought by Novell.

Gates told a court in Salt Lake City, Utah, on Monday that his Redmond minions "worked super-hard" on Word. He added: "It was a ground-breaking piece of work, and it was very well received when we got it done."

Gates argued that Novell had simply been unable to deliver a version of word processor WordPerfect that was better than Microsoft's Word in time for the launch of Windows 95. Novell claims that Microsoft refused to support WordPerfect for Win 95.

Microsoft's co-founder, who'd been closely involved in development of Word in the late 1980s and early 1990s, testified that the Windows team dumped a technical feature that would have supported WordPerfect because he was worried it might crash the operating system.

"We were making trade-offs," Gates told the court.

WordPerfect had been the leader in the field of Word processing software on IBM-compatible PCs. In 1986, the WordPerfect was the US's best-selling word processing software, used by more than 300 major companies and with nearly a third of the IBM-compatible word processing market.

Microsoft came from behind, releasing Windows in 1985 and Word for Windows in 1989. By the early 1990s, WordPerfect's sales were falling as sales of Windows PCs grew; the company went through through management shakeups and before became a Novell subsidiary in 1994 via a merger.

Novell later sold WordPerfect at a $1.2bn loss to Corel.

Gates said that by 1994 Word was ranked number one, finally beating WordPerfect, while reviewers put the features and functionality of Word above WordPerfect. Novell contends, in its antitrust case, that the reversal of fortune came because Microsoft withheld vital technical information that would have allowed, at the time, WordPerfect to work properly on Microsoft's latest platform.

The company lodged the case against Microsoft in 2004 and it was considered complete thanks to a lower court's summary judgment - but the ruling was overturned in May this year, opening the way for the current appeal. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
Detroit losing MILLIONS because it buys CHEAP BATTERIES – report
Man at hardware store was right: name brands DO last longer
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
UK government accused of hiding TRUTH about Universal Credit fiasco
'Reset rating keeps secrets on one-dole-to-rule-them-all plan', say MPs
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
EU justice chief blasts Google on 'right to be forgotten'
Don't pretend it's a freedom of speech issue – interim commish
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.