Bill Gates testifies in Novell’s $1 billion antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft

Former CEO and current chairman of Microsoft, Bill Gates, recently testified in an antitrust suit brought against the company by Novell in 2004. According to the Associated Press, Novell is arguing that Microsoft originally said it would sell Novell’s WordPerfect software as a feature of Windows 95, but then turned around and launched the operating system without WordPerfect built-in. As a result, Novell had to sell the word processor alone, taking a $1.2 billion loss on the deal. Reportedly, Microsoft’s Windows 95 software engineers warned Gates that WordPerfect would crash the OS and that Novell could not provide software that was better than Microsoft’s own Word application in time. As we all know, Word took off and WordPerfect slowly disappeared. “We worked super hard. It was the most challenging, trying project we had ever done,” Gates said, speaking of Windows 95 and his goal to be the first to put a PC on every desk in every home. “It was a ground-breaking piece of work, and it was very well received when we got it done.” The Redmond-based company has asked U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz to toss the suit but, despite Novell’s “thin” claims, Motz said he will leave the verdict up to a jury.

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