Feeds

Gates: Novell are sore losers, Word trounced WordPerfect

Microsoft supremo testifies at antitrust hearing

Remote control for virtualized 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. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Bladerunner sequel might actually be good. Harrison Ford is in it
Go ahead, you're all clear, kid... Sorry, wrong film
Euro Parliament VOTES to BREAK UP GOOGLE. Er, OK then
It CANNA do it, captain.They DON'T have the POWER!
Musicians sue UK.gov over 'zero pay' copyright fix
Everyone else in Europe compensates us - why can't you?
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Megaupload overlord Kim Dotcom: The US HAS RADICALISED ME!
Now my lawyers have bailed 'cos I'm 'OFFICIALLY' BROKE
Forget Hillary, HP's ex CARLY FIORINA 'wants to be next US Prez'
Former CEO has political ambitions again, according to Washington DC sources
prev story

Whitepapers

10 ways wire data helps conquer IT complexity
IT teams can automatically detect problems across the IT environment, spot data theft, select unique pieces of transaction payloads to send to a data source, and more.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
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.
Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence
Download Choosing a Cloud Hosting Provider with Confidence to learn more about cloud computing - the new opportunities and new security challenges.